Province teases pharmacy COVID testing as RVH notes increased demand

Over 350 tests run at RVH on Monday alone

The line at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) drive-thru COVID testing clinic is getting longer, mirroring a province-wide trend.

A hospital spokesperson notes there were 356 people tested at its clinic on Monday, up from the average of 200-250 a day. The average wait time has bumped up to a little over two hours from around 90 minutes.

This isn’t outside the norm, with long lines being reported at testing centres throughout the province. “First I would say that the good news here is that people are going to be tested,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott on Tuesday.

“We are aware that there are some significant lineups in many different parts of Ontario. We are looking at the best way to address those issues, whether it be through pharmacies, through labs, or through other ways to enhance our assessment facilities.”

Premier Doug Ford confirmed the province is exploring allowing pharmacies to test the asymptomatic. “We’ll take the burden off of the other areas that have potentially a lot more ill people. “I just want to make sure all the ducks are in a row and then we’ll make an announcement but we’re all over this.”

RVH officials point out those seeking testing can book over the phone or online and skip the line altogether. Visit the hospital’s website for more information.