Ontario residents who want to be tested for COVID-19 must now book an appointment where these tests are being done.
The province took the decision to try and end wait times that were as long as five to six hours, as the government continues to struggle with a huge backlog of tests to be processed.
The backlog on Monday dropped to just under 69,000 test samples compared to Friday’s record high of 90,513.
In Barrie, Royal Victoria’ Regional Health Centre’s COVID-19 testing clinic is at 29 Sperling Drive and offers both future and same-day appointment bookings.
There is an appointment portal that will open daily at 6 a.m. and will close when all available time slots for that day are full.
“RVH was already providing pre-booked appointments through online and phone booking. To ensure we can continue to meet the extraordinary demand for testing, we have created a same-day appointment booking option,” says Liz Ferguson, vice president of Program Programs, Flow and chief nursing executive. “Moving to an appointment-based system only will help people avoid long waits during this time of year when the weather is so unpredictable. Pre-booking appointments is a convenient way for people to ensure they are tested and receive their results in a timely fashion.”
In November, the Sperling Drive clinic will become a full COVID-19 Assessment Centre. People with symptoms that require assessment beyond a COVID-19 test can be seen inside the building by a team of clinicians.
The Assessment Centre at 490 Huronia Road in south Barrie is operated by the Barrie Community Health Centre (BCHC) and is unable to provide online or telephone bookings.
Chief Excutive Officer Christine Colcy said they are working to correct that.
“We have not yet had the ability to create a system where people can book, but we’re very close to a system where you can schedule appointments, same-day appointments.”
BCHC has not received funding for staffing to support anything like someone picking up the phone and booking an appointment.
While online bookings should be available shortly, the option now is for people to attend the testing clinic and get an appointment.
Colcy said they can take as many as 20 people per hour depending on staffing.
The centre is open five-days-a-week from 8:30 am. to 4:30 p.m., while the Sperling Drive location remains seven-days-a-week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The public is reminded by RVH that to ensure testing resources are available for those who need them most, Ontario health officials recently updated testing criteria to prioritize those at the greatest risk, while shifting away from untargeted, asymptomatic testing.
People should only seek testing at an assessment centre if they have COVID-19 symptoms; have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as notified by the public health unit or the COVID Alert app; live or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak; an asymptomatic traveller or in a high risk group.
All COVID-19 appointment’s at RVH’s Sperling Drive testing clinic can be booked through the health centre’s website www.rvh.on.ca or through the Assessment Centre phone line at 705-797-3120 between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Below is a list of local assessment centres, including information on booking an appointment. In many cases, an appointment can be booked online, but phone numbers are provided when available or necessary.
Stevenson Memorial Hospital
200 Fletcher Crescent, Alliston, lower parking lot (staff/shipping & receiving entrance)
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.
RVH Testing Centre
29 Sperling Drive (former Barrie Police headquarters)
7 days a week 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Click here to book an appointment online, or call (705)797-3120
Barrie COVID-19 Assessment Centre
490 Huronia Road
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed weekends)
Same-day appointments can be booked on-site, no online or telephone booking available currently
Barrie & Community Family Medicine Clinic – Prince William location
829 Big Bay Point Road
Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sat/Sun/Holidays 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Click here to book an appointment online, or call (705)722-1199
Bracebridge COVID-19 Assessment Centre
75 Ann Street
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Book an appointment by phone at 1-888-383-7009 during business hours
Georgian Bay Family Health Team
186 Erie Street Medical Building (parking lot)
Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Click here to book an appointment online, or call (705)444-5885
Huntsville Active Living Centre
20 Park Drive (attached to Canada Summit Centre)
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Not yet taking appointments
Shoppers Drug Mart – Huntsville
51 King William St
7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Call (705)789-4471 to book an appointment
Midland COVID-19 Assessment Centre
1156 St. Andrews Drive
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Call to book an appointment at (705)529-1025, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Couchiching COVID-19 Assessment Centre
100 University Ave. (Rotary Place)
Monday to Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sat/Sun/holidays 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Click here to book an appointment online.https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1o-SsGFgZ5L-n6YHCI-GXso5VBapZxBkb