There has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking testing over the past week at Niagara Health’s three COVID-19 Assessment Centres, with 3,484 tests performed between Sept. 11 to 17, which is an average of nearly 500 people per day. This total includes a record 665 tests on Sept. 16.
With the increase in the number of patients coming to the Assessment Centres, walk-in patients are experiencing longer than normal wait times. Assessment Centres see walk-in patients until 4 p.m. on the days of operation. With large numbers of patients arriving for testing, it may not be possible to see all walk-in patients on the day they arrive.
Assessment Centre staff are also working to contact everyone who has called to request an appointment for testing.
"Our teams are working diligently to accommodate the increased demand for testing and we ask for everyone’s patience during this time," said Derek McNally, Executive Vice President Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive. "While testing is an important safety measure, we really encourage everyone to practice the public safety measures that were so effective in blunting the impact of the first wave of the pandemic. Please continue physical distancing, cleaning your hands regularly and wearing a mask when appropriate."
Patients can access testing at any one of Niagara Health’s three Assessment Centres, located in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls. The centres in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls are open 7 days a week. The centre in Welland is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.
Full details on locations and hours of operations are available here.