Across Canada, testing for COVID-19 is ramping up. That includes the nation's capital. Ottawa Public Health is now asking anyone who is experiencing even mild symptoms to go get tested.
In a May 13 tweet, the city's health authority announced that anyone who is experiencing any symptoms of the virus should get tested at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre or Care Clinics.
"We are able to encourage anyone who has COVID-like symptoms in the city of Ottawa to present for assessment at either the Brewer Centre or the East and West Care Centres," Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health said during a May 13 city council meeting.
So far, over 15000 tests have been conducted at the Brewer Centre, while the other locations have conducted over 2000 tests.
Dr. Etches added that the laboratory capacity was not overburdened when they asked anyone over the age of 60 to get tested last week, so the decision was made to expand it.
"We want people who have fever, cough, difficulty breathing to present for assessment," she said.
The Ottawa Public Health website also lists other, less common symptoms that should prompt people to get tested.
These include respiratory symptoms like sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or a runny or congested nose, as well as unexplained fatigue, abdominal pain, or the loss of taste and smell.
Dr. Etches reminded people that they should still stay home when they are sick, but added that getting tested will help to determine where COVID-19 is in the community.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE: ANY Ottawa resident who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should now go for test… https://t.co/X5t5NHIApt— Ottawa Public Health (@Ottawa Public Health)1589371257.0
She also reminded anyone who has symptoms to use a face covering if they are going to any of the city's testing centres.
Ottawa's announcement of expanded testing follows a similar one in Alberta. The province had also asked anyone experiencing even mild symptoms to go and get properly checked out.