The partners in charge of COVID-19 testing in Ottawa say they are seeing an increased number of “no-shows” who book COVID-19 tests at multiple assessment centres and then only show up to one.
In a new report on testing status in Ottawa, the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Task Force says since the province moved to an appointment-only based system, they’ve been experiencing instances of people booking multiple tests.
“Since switching to an appointment-based system on Tuesday, Oct. 6, Ottawa’s COVID-19 Assessment Centres have experienced instances of no-shows. We are seeing some individuals book an appointment at multiple sites and then ultimately will not show up to one of their two booked appointments,” the statement says.
“Duplicates and no-shows make it a challenge to accurately plan operating hours and staffing resources. To ensure that no-shows do not escalate into a system-wide access issue, the Taskforce is asking members of the community to only book one appointment at a single site.”
New phone numbers and walk-up access for people without internet
The task force has also released new phone numbers for people who do not have ready access to the internet in order to book appointments.
“It is critical that all members of the Ottawa community have access to a COVID-19 test, including residents at a greater risk and individuals who do not have access to the internet,” the task force said.
A small number of walk-in spaces are also being made available for anyone who is in critical need of contact tracing or who cannot access the internet.
The assessment centre for adults at the Brewer Arena–151 Brewer Way—offers a limited number of walk-in spots for people who need urgent contact tracing for public health and for anyone who may not have access to the online booking system.
For parents looking to get their children tested, a small amount of walk-in spaces are available at Brewer.
For those requiring extra support for accessibility reasons, please contact CHEO’s Patient Experience team at 613-737-7600 x6720.
If you need to book an appointment at the Moodie Drive COVID-19 Care Clinic—585 Moodie Dr.—but do not have access to the internet, you can call 613-721-4722.
If you need to book an appointment at the Heron Road COVID-19 Care Clinic—1485 Heron Rd.—but do not have access to the internet, you can call 613-288-5353.
A limited amount of walk-in spaces will be made available at the care clinics for people who need urgent contact tracing for public health and for anyone who may not have access to the online booking system.
The drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at RCGT Park, 300 Coventry Rd., does not accept same-day appointments by phone or in person.
As of Tuesday, the Coventry site’s hours are now 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More than 300 local tests still in the backlog
The taskforce said 1,436 swabs were taken at assessment centres in Ottawa on Thanksgiving Monday and local labs performed 2,128 tests.
The backlog of people waiting for test results is now at 324. A week ago, 1,743 tests were still waiting to be processed.
The average turnaround time for a high priority test on Oct. 12 was 18 hours, down from 24 hours on Oct. 6.
Ottawa’s testing target is 3,950 tests performed per day.