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150 tests for COVID-19 completed on Thursday alone

Last Updated Mar 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm MDT

IMAGE. Supplied the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

There were 150 tests for COVID-19 completed in the region on Thursday, March 29, alone.

“Do not be alarmed by the number, if anything it’s better to know that the tests were completed and we’re getting a better understanding of where we are within this community,” said Scott Davis, RMWB Director of Emergency Management.

For those with concerns about waiting to get tested or for results Davis assures that changes are being made.

“We do know that 811 is being overwhelmed, they have added additional trained people to take calls, they’ve added the data capability and infrastructure to take calls but as you can appreciate it, calls are coming from all over the province and they are doing their best.”

Davis says once the calls are made, a public health nurse would go out and do the testing.

“We’re now at the point in the region where the public health nurses are becoming overwhelmed trying to conduct all the tests.”

As of this morning a public health support centre has opened in the community where people can have testing completed there.

“Rather than a public health nurse coming to your house, they would make an appointment for you to go to the centre, you would have the test completed there and the hope is that would be able to speed up the process.”

Davis highlights that tests for COVID19 are by appointment only.

“we want to be transparent with the community and let them know the purpose of this is to help take the load of public health, so we could have testing done in a private and efficient way.”