With increased demand for COVID-19 testing in the region, the provincial government has announced restrictions on who can get tested to reduce stress from long lineups. A limited number of pharmacies are offering testing for COVID-19 along with assessment centers to meet the rising demand.
Health officials have stated that people can get tested at an assessment centre if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Have COVID-19 symptoms.
- In close contact with someone with the virus.
- Notified by the public health unit to get tested.
- Need to get tested for screening purposes.
Health Services on the University of Waterloo campus are also offering COVID-19 testing Testing is available by appointment only. The testing is available for students, employees, and postdocs at UW who meet at least one of the above criteria. More information is available on the University of Waterloo website. Testing is currently unavailable for those who are asymptomatic.
Instead, people who have no COVID-19 symptoms can get tested at select pharmacies. This includes residents, visitors, and staff of long-term care homes and international students who have passed their 14-day quarantine period.
Public Health Services of the Region of Waterloo have confirmed the four assessment centres in the Waterloo Region:
- Grand River Hospital – Drive Thru COVID-19 Assessment Center
- Kitchener-Waterloo-Wilmot-Wellesley-Woolwich (KW4) COVID-19 Assessment Centre – Westmount Plaza
- St. Mary’s General Hospital – Bathurst Site
- Cambridge Assessment Centre – Cambridge Memorial Hospital
St. Mary’s General Hospital accepts walk-in patients, but the other three centres accept patients by appointment only.
Pharmacies offering testing in the region are:
- Conestoga Mall in Waterloo – Shoppers Drug Mart
- Ira Needles Blvd. in Kitchener – Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1500 King St. E Cambridge – Shoppers Drug Mart
Testing in pharmacies is by appointment only as well.
Further information about testing centres can be found on the Ontario Government website.
People going for a test should bring their Ontario Health Card. They are asked to follow public health measures, including wearing a mask and maintaining two metres physical distancing.
The region reported 153 active cases as of Oct. 3rd 2020. This increases the number of total positive cases to 1,766. So far, more than 135,000 people in the region have tested.