Guelph health officials say its COVID-19 assessment clinic is booking by phone only, as Ontario begins testing for the novel coronavirus by appointment.

a sign in front of a window: Guelph's COVID-19 assessment clinic is moving out of the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.

© Matt Carty / Global Guelph
Guelph’s COVID-19 assessment clinic is moving out of the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.

As of Tuesday morning, clinics in the province were only accepting people who had an appointment, but Guelph’s clinic had not yet established a phone system to book.

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A phone number was announced for the Southgate Drive clinic later in the afternoon after health officials asked residents to go to the clinic to book an appointment for later that day.

Those now wishing to book an appointment can call 226-773-1922. Phone lines are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Health officials said callers will go through some screening questions and then be forwarded to a staff member to get an appointment.

Bookings will be based on the next available time slot and will only include the current and following day. If the assessment centre reaches its two-day capacity, callers will be asked to call back the next day.

It appears in-person booking is no longer available at the clinic.

The provincial government has said the shift to the new system was done to prepare the assessment centres for winter.

Guelph’s clinic on Southgate Drive sees daily lines outside across the parking lot and the wait usually lasts several hours.

As of Monday, the clinic has conducted over 40,500 tests since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s other assessment clinics have their phone systems up and running.

An appointment at the Fergus assessment clinic can be made by calling 226-383-2415 and the Harriston clinic can be called at 519-843-8160.