Responding to demand for tests ahead of September school openings and workers returning from summer vacation, Windsor Regional Hospital, through the support and approval of Ontario Health, will be providing testing for COVID-19 at the St. Clair College SportsPlex, starting with a two-day drive-thru testing blitz, followed by further testing inside the facility in September.
The drive-thru testing will take place on Monday, August 24 and Tuesday, August 25. Operating hours will be from 9 am to 4 pm.
“We recognize that many individuals will be returning to their workplaces this fall and we anticipate a corresponding increase in demand for testing heading into September,” said WRH President David Musyj. “We hope that this drive-thru testing opportunity over a two-day period will be a welcome alternative to those who have been planning for a test before Labour Day.”
WRH also plans to use the inside of the SportsPlex for COVID-19 testing next month, starting Thursday, Sept. 3 and Friday, Sept. 4 from 9 am to 4 pm before the Labour Day weekend. As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, the SportsPlex assessment centre will be open the same hours as the Ouellette Campus location - daily, from 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.
The SportsPlex will continue to be used as WRH’s second COVID-19 Assessment Centre until a more permanent site is set up at Met Campus. Plans for the Met site have been delayed by several weeks due to the unavailability of trailers to house patients and staff for testing. WRH has been informed that these same trailers are required by schools across the Province for the start of the school year. WRH agreed to delay their procurement to allow schools initial access to the trailers. St Clair College immediately agreed to allow the St. Clair SportsPlex to be used as an interim testing centre until the Met Campus location is ready.
The Ouellette Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre continues to operate adjacent to the Emergency Department. The future Met Campus Assessment Centre will also be located adjacent to an Emergency Department, outside of the east end of the campus.
“We believe it is important to have testing available close to the Emergency room in the event an individual is requiring more urgent care,” Musyj said. “In advance of September, however, we felt a second option would be ideal for the community while we continue to prepare for a second assessment centre at Met Campus.”
More than 25,000 individuals have been swabbed for COVID-19 since the assessment centre at Ouellette Campus opened on March 16.
Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington also has an assessment centre. Its hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday-Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm.
The St. Clair College property allows excellent road access for individuals seeking drive-thru testing on Aug. 24 and 25. Motorists can enter the campus from either the Talbot Rd. or Cabana Rd. entrances, with temporary signage directing drivers to a testing area adjacent to the SportsPlex.
The hospital was provided use of the SportsPlex thanks to the generosity of the St. Clair College. On April 17, the facility was opened to allow hospital staff to care for COVID-19 positive residents of Huron Terrace LTC until the last patient returned to the home on June 13.
“We very much appreciate the generosity of our friends at St. Clair College who have been welcoming and accommodating to WRH and to our community’s needs as we partner to protect our community from COVID-19,” Musyj said.