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Demand for COVID-19 testing increasing as wait times in Ottawa rise – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Demand for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa is on the rise, following a sharp rise in new cases at the end of July.

There were 350 new cases declared in the between July 17 and July 31, compared to 95 in the first half of the month. Ottawa Public Health has consistently linked the increase in cases to people who attended indoor gatherings, parties, or work with symptoms early in the month, thus spreading the virus to others.

Since the rise in cases, wait times of up to four hours have been reported at Ottawa’s COVID-19 testing centres.

Speaking on CTV Morning Live on Tuesday, Ottawa’s associate medical officer of health, Dr. Brent Moloughney, said some people are seeking tests too soon, or for the wrong reasons.

“There are people that may have felt they have been in contact with someone and come immediately for testing but it takes a number of days from when someone’s exposed to having enough virus for it to be picked up, should be five days,” he said. “Another issue is people who either on their own or they’re told they need a test before they can go to work or a gathering and, in those situations, a test is only a moment in time and is not entirely reassuring to be able to start those activities.”

In the latter example, Dr. Moloughney said a negative test only shows you were negative at the time you were tested. You may have contracted the virus earlier and it is still incubating, meaning a test wouldn’t find, or you may contract it after the test, meaning you could become infectious later on, while believing you’re not infected.

“You’d be falsely reassured. Your primary defense to protect other people is distancing, wearing a mask, good hand hygiene, and not going if you have symptoms,” he said.

The appropriate time to get a test, Dr. Moloughney said, is if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or about five days after coming into contact with someone with the virus. It is also recommended you self-isolate until you can get a test if you believe you may have been exposed.

There are three testing centres in Ottawa: the COVID-19 assessment centre at the Brewer Arena, and the COVID-19 care clinics on Moodie Drive and Heron Road.

Dr. Joseph Pollard, of the Queensway Carleton Hospital, told CTV Morning Live drive-thru testing centres in Ottawa are a possibility, but he doesn’t believe it will work in the Moodie Drive area.

“At this particular facility, it’s not appropriate for drive-thru for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the traffic makeup of the area,” he said. “I know that Public Health is looking at the demand for drive-thru testing, and they’re working towards that, just that it’s not available at the moment.”

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard shows more than 7,000 test results were returned from select laboratories in the week of July 21-27, with an average positivity rate of 1.0 per cent. Just over half of all tests were turned around within 24 hours.

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7 COVID-19 cases linked to Yonge Street Warehouse – CBC.ca

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Toronto Public Health (TPH) says seven people who have tested positive for COVID-19 went to a Yonge Street restaurant within the last month.

Of the seven, five are staff members and two are patrons. All of which attended Yonge Street Warehouse, at 336 Yonge St., between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17.

The health agency wants to notify staff and patrons who visited the restaurant during the 8-day period about a potential exposure to the virus. 

TPH said they have followed up with all known close contacts and those individuals have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and go for testing. 

Around 1,700 people may have been at the venue during this time, TPH said, however, people not already contacted are viewed as low risk.

“If you were at the Yonge Street Warehouse between September 10 to 17 but have not been contacted by TPH, you are not identified as a close contact,” read a statement released on Saturday.

Nevertheless, the health agency is still urging anyone who was there during the exposure time to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their last visit. 

If symptoms develop, the agency asks you to contact TPH, seek testing and immediately self-isolate.

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Quebec reports 698 new COVID-19 cases, seven more deaths – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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That’s the highest single-day count since May 21.

Quebec has recorded 698 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest single-day count since May 21 — bringing the province’s total to 71,005 as of Saturday.

Seven new deaths have been reported, all of which occurred between Sept. 19 and 24. The province’s death toll now stands at 5,821.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 18, for a total of 217. Of those, 33 were in intensive care.

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Quebec reports 698 new COVID-19 cases, seven more deaths – The Sudbury Star

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That’s the highest single-day count since May 21.

Quebec has recorded 698 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest single-day count since May 21 — bringing the province’s total to 71,005 as of Saturday.

Seven new deaths have been reported, all of which occurred between Sept. 19 and 24. The province’s death toll now stands at 5,821.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 18, for a total of 217. Of those, 33 were in intensive care.

Related

All our coronavirus-related news can always be found at montrealgazette.com/tag/coronavirus.

Sign up for our email newsletter dedicated to local COVID-19 coverage at montrealgazette.com/coronavirusnews.

Help support our local journalism by subscribing to the Montreal Gazette here.

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