If you have symptoms in O-Town, you could be waiting a long time to get tested. Speaking on Wednesday, a local member of provincial parliament revealed that some residents have been waiting up to eight hours to get COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. Worse still, some lines have reportedly reached more than one kilometre long.
As Ottawans continue to line up in the thousands for COVID-19 tests across the city, Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden has revealed just how overwhelmed some centres have become.
Speaking on Wednesday, Harden explained that some locals had been waiting for up to eight hours for a test at the Moodie Drive assessment centre in the city’s west end.
“The lineup is more than a kilometre long,” he said.
Harden went on to explain that the first person in Wednesday's eight-hour lineup had been waiting since 4:30 a.m. that morning.
Those who arrived closer to 7 a.m. were hoping to get tested for the illness by around 3 p.m., Harden added.
He says the situation is so severe that people are being forced to park their cars kilometres away from the centre.
Worse still, residents who may be sick are turning away from the test locations at the sight of such huge lines.
People are waiting up to 8 hours for a COVID test at the Moodie Dr. assessment centre in #Ottawa, in a lineup stret… https://t.co/7IcKq0t3B6— Joel Harden (@Joel Harden)1600274561.0
Addressing Premier Doug Ford, Harden described the situation as “unacceptable” and asked, “What is his plan to reduce these lineups and open up testing right now?”
This comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in Ottawa and across the province.
Similar chaotic scenes were spotted in other regions. In London, Western University students flooded testing centres in such large numbers that some were even turned away.
Lineup at Brewer Covid testing centre in Ottawa at start of this week. #ottnews #COVID19Ontario https://t.co/EpQj4kUKsa— Holly Doan (@Holly Doan)1600179439.0
Shortly after Harden's comments on Wednesday, Ford confirmed that thousands of new testing centres would be coming to the province.
"We’re gonna have more testing areas than anywhere in the country bar none,” he promised.
He added that the "second wave [of COVID-19] is coming," and thus committed to getting things up-and-running within just a matter of days.
The City of Ottawa is committed to working with the Champlain COVID-19 Response Committee, The Ottawa Hospital, CHE… https://t.co/fvnaHIxfaL— Jim Watson (@Jim Watson)1600279788.0
Acknowledging the long lines, Canada’s top doctor thanked those who had waited hours to get tested, describing it as “an act of kindness, and frankly, bravery."
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.