The director of the largest COVID-19 testing centre in London said that her goal is to increase daily testing capability by 25 per cent by the end of next week.
The director of the Carling Heights Assessment Centre, Kim Planques, said they had averaged 300 daily tests this past summer, but back-to-school brought about a surge in demand.
“We are doing everything we can to increase our volumes,” Planques said.
“The good news is I’ve got four staff from the Agriplex training today, so we are starting to bring more staff on board so that we can increase our volumes,” she added. “Our goal is to get to 800 tests daily, hopefully by the end of next week.”
It can take two to three days to get a COVID test appointment right now, however Planques says the turnaround for the results is quick. In most cases people can get them 24 hours after the test.
The assessment centre at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre isn’t the only one in the region. There’s a second site at 279 Wharncliffe Road North that is administering 200 daily tests. Planques said the plan there is to increase capacity by 50 in the coming days.
“So, we weren’t expecting it to go quite this high, but we’re doing everything we can to increase our access,” she said.
Although this is good news for London parents with unvaccinated children in schools, it doesn’t help Nicole Thomas and her 10 year old son.
Thomas’ son has been home sick since Wednesday with a lot of COVID symptoms, including a fever and a runny nose. He has vomited too, however, he still has his sense of smell and taste.
The problem is he had to miss a majority of the school week because he couldn’t get a COVID test until Friday afternoon.
Thomas finds it “frustrating” that her son had to wait a few days to get a test because if he’s negative, he wouldn’t have missed so much school.
“So, it’s always nicer to have answers more quickly,” Thomas told London Morning’s Rebecca Zandbergen on Friday. “Obviously, everyone is concerned.”
London Morning7:38COVID testing wait times