WC resident waits hours for COVID-19 test at west-end clinic

BELLS CORNERS – While the Queensway-Carleton Hospital is warning people of a long wait at the west end COVID-19 Care Clinic, one West Carleton resident experienced it first hand.

The COVID-19 Care Clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. at the D. Aubrey Moodie Intermediate School is operated by staff at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and community physicians.

It’s open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

On Twitter, the hospital said its “experiencing significant increases in volumes” at the care clinic, resulting in wait times up to four hours.

West Carleton’s Kirsten Smith has experienced it first-hand.

Tuesday (July 28), Smith and her partner were at the clinic waiting to be tested.

This was to be the third test for the couple. They were getting tested so they could visit family at a long-term care residence.

Smith was at the centre 45 minutes before opening and was already at the mark that indicated it would be at least a two-hour wait.

“Why can’t I get an appointment for testing, or at my clinic?” Smith asked OPH and her MPP Dr. Merrilee Fullerton through the social media app Twitter. “How is this testing model sustainable?”

Smith says she lives closer to Arnprior then the Bells Corners testing centre and called the Renfrew County District Health Unit but was told their testing is for residents only.

For their previous test a month ago, they arrived 45 minutes early and were fourth in line.

The two were unable to wait the expected wait-time on Tuesday, so they came back the next day (July 29).

They were there 90 minutes before opening and were once again, sitting at the two-hour mark in the line.

The good news was the testing centre opened an hour early and Smith didn’t have to wait nearly as long as expected when she arrived. But she did note behind her, the line still extended through to the two-hour mark.

The care clinic is primarily for treating people with symptoms of respiratory illness – cough, fever and cold-like symptoms. It’s equipped to do basic diagnostic tests, such as chest X-rays and lab tests.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital has tips for people visiting the West COVID-19 Care Clinic:

  • Expect to wait outdoors for a period of time: Consider bringing water, sunscreen, and a chair or umbrella if needed to help you beat the heat
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask and physically distance, both in line and within the Care Clinic
  • Security, management and physicians regularly walk the line and check on vulnerable patients