In an effort to reduce long lineups at the Brewer Arena COVID-19 Assessment Centre, Ottawa's mayor says its operating hours are being increased to more than 13 per day and capacity will be going up at the Moodie Drive and Heron Road care clinics.
Around 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, Mayor Jim Watson tweeted, "starting today" the Brewer testing centre would be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Ottawa Hospital, however, has since said the centre is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with access to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and that it is working on ways to further expand hours as needed.
He's been in conversation with President and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Cameron Love over the last few days, regarding crowds flocking to testing sites across the city. In that time, parents and their children have been standing in lines outside testing centres for more than five hours in many cases.
Watson explains that an online booking system will also be implemented in the coming days to help eliminate the lineups and speed up some of the administrative work. Appointments can already be booked online for the Coventry Road drive-thru testing site.
The mayor says work is also underway to see capacity at the Heron Road and Moodie Drive COVID-19 Care Clinics go from 500 to 1,000, after both sites had to close their doors early, Wednesday.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 SCREENING NOTICE: The COVID-19 Care Clinic on Heron has reached maximum capacity for the day and is not taking additional visitors. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. @ottawahealth— Hôpital Montfort (@hopitalmontfort) September 16, 2020
Meanwhile, according to Watson, President and CEO of Montfort Hospital Dr. Bernard Leduc is actively working with city staff to identify a site in Ottawa's east end, and there could be an update on that soon.