Shorter line than expected at Huronia Road assessment centre after province moves to appointment-only system

No system to book appointments online or by phone just yet

Christine Colcy started her day with a bit of a shock: there wasn’t a massive line out front.

Colcy is the CEO of the Barrie and Community Health Centre, which oversees the COVID-19 Assessment Centre on Huronia Road in Barrie. Until Sunday, the facility was walk-in only, but stopped taking walk-ins after the province declared appointments must be made in advance.

The Huronia Road facility does not yet have the capability to allow for advance booking by phone or online. “I would think there probably is some confusion,” Colcy told Barrie 360 Tuesday morning. “They’re probably anticipating they would have a phone number to call to book an appointment.” She suspects this confusion led to a shorter line outside the facility on Tuesday morning when the average wait time exceeded five hours on some days.

Colcy says appointments can be booked in person, and hopefully on the same day. “The approach we are going to take to ensure everybody has access is to allow the same day appointments,” she said, adding anyone who requires a test can visit the centre at 490 Huronia Road in Barrie to book an appointment in person. “Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll have another option of online booking as well,” she concluded.

The province announced late last week that all assessment centres would require an advanced booking as a means of allowing labs across Ontario to process a backlog stemming from high demand. On Tuesday, there were over 42,000 tests processed, while there were nearly 55,500 in backlog.