Canada is now operating drive-thru coronavirus test clinics
Following the lead of countries like the U.K., South Korea, Germany and the U.S., Canada has opened up drive-thru coronavirus assessment centres in select locations across the country.
The facilities will help limit potential COVID-19 exposure to others in hospital while also expediting the testing process.
After pre-screening to determine if individuals meet the criteria to be tested — which usually requires a physician's referral — patients show up at a scheduled time to answer a series of health questions and undergo a quick nasal swab from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles.
Results are then sent to them via phone or email, allowing people to return home to self-quarantine.
Drive thru testing for COVID coming soon to South Calgary Health Centre. #SocialDistancingNow #FlattenTheCurve #publichealth #ABHEALTH #ABdocs4patients https://t.co/vFXAbqSJj7— Dr. Heref Oru MD FRCPC (@Yinnifer) March 15, 2020
Currently, there are drive-thru assessment centres operating in Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria, with plans for more to open in the coming days.
Many hospitals nationwide are also running stand-alone coronavirus testing centres to isolate potential COVID-19 patients from others seeking medical treatment in emergency rooms and doctors' offices.
The COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital is one of the locations that may soon see a drive-thru component.
Smart move. If things go badly south, we need testing to be readily available without exposing others to risk.— Mimico problems (@mimicoprobs) March 11, 2020
As the supply of nasal swab kits remains tight amid high global demand, it is important that these clinics remain appointment-only and are reserved only for probable, at-risk cases that require testing.
The number of such drive-thru operations will depend on the extent to which drastically increased and faster testing becomes necessary in Canada.
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