RVH opens new COVID-19 test site

New test site is at the former Barrie Police headquarters on Sperling Drive

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre opened a new COVID-19 test clinic on Monday to address overwhelming demand.

This partnership with the City of Barrie allows RVH to operate the clinic in the former Barrie Police headquarters building at 29 Sperling Drive.

Pre-booked appointments are being accepted. Later this week the clinic will provide drive-thru testing from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. As a result, the COVID0-19 test clinic at RVH has reduced its hours to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven-days-a-week for drive-thru visits only.

“Our onsite COVID-19 test clinic has seen an overwhelming spike in visits recently, going from an average 230 people per day to a staggering 500 or more. In fact, we will soon surpass 25,000 swab tests completed since opening six months ago,” says Liz Ferguson, vice president, Patient Programs, Flow & chief nursing executive.  “To help meet testing demand, the City of Barrie has generously provided RVH use of the Sperling Drive site.”

In two weeks RVH plans to close its health centre test clinic and relocate to the Sperling Drive location which offers protection from the weather. By November, the Sperling clinic will become a full COVID-19 Assessment Centre offering similar services as the Barrie COVID-19 Assessment Centre on Huronia Road. People with symptoms that require assessment beyond a COVID-19 test can be seen inside the building by a team of clinicians.

To ensure testing resources are available for those who need them the most, Ontario health officials have recently updated testing criteria to prioritize those at the greatest risk, while shifting away from untargeted, asymptomatic testing. That means people should only seek testing at an assessment centre, or RVH’s screening clinic, if they have COVID-19 symptoms; have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as notified by public health unit or the COVID Alert app; live or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak or are in a high risk group. To determine whether you meet criteria for a COVID-19 test please go to Ontario.ca.

COVID-19 appointments at RVH’s testing clinic at Sperling Drive can be booked through the health centre’s website at https://www.rvh.on.ca/