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Ottawa's top doctor confident in COVID-19 testing capacity

Based on the number of people in Ottawa using the province's online assessment tool, health officials estimate a few hundred more people now qualify for COVID-19 testing.
2020-03-13 Dr. Vera Etches Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, March 13, 2020. Photo/ City of Ottawa online stream

As Ontario expands its COVID-19 testing criteria to include more people, Ottawa's chief medical officer of health says the increase in demand should be manageable.

The newest provincial guidelines on COVID-19 testing say that anyone with symptoms of the novel coronavirus can now get tested.

"We looked at what happened last week we oepened up testing to everyone over 60 years of age, and we found that there wasn't a large increase," said Dr. Vera Etches. "We did see some increase in the population over 60 presenting at the Brewer Assessment Centre, but it was manageable."

Based on the number of people in Ottawa using the province's online assessment tool, health officials estimate a few hundred more people now qualify for COVID-19 testing.

"We think those numbers are manageable," said Dr. Etches.

The assessment centre at the Brewer Park Arena can handle up to 400 people per day, while each of Ottawa's COVID-19 care clinics can handle under 100 each, per day.




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