Moncton expands COVID-19 testing capacity
MONCTON, N.B. -- A new temporary testing centre for COVID-19 has been set up at the Moncton Coliseum.
Horizon Health staff say this will help increase the amount of daily testing in a more efficient space.
“Due to the unpredictable numbers, we thought we would like to be prepared to be ready for a large volume,” says Kathleen Buchanan, Primary Healthcare Director for Horizon Health.
The Agrena Complex can now accommodate up to 400 tests per day if need be. The capacity at the previous location, the Moncton Hospital, was 100 tests per day.
“As the province ramps up testing, they’re going to need more and more space,” says Dan McLaughlin, a Riverview, N.B. resident. “The coliseum is a large place with a large parking lot, and that will relieve some of the traffic from the hospitals too.”
A second location for testing is done by Vitalite Health Network at the Georges-Dumont Hospital.
After calling 811, a referral is sent to the assessment centre, and an appointment is made.
Patients are greeted in their vehicle by a security guard.
“Then they just proceed slowly to the door, they’re registered by a clerk just to confirm their patient identification, then they are moved on to the nursing station, they receive their swab while staying in their car and then they’re directed to the exit,” says Buchanan.
The process for each test takes about 15 minutes. Buchanan says right now they’re testing an average of fourty people a day.
Staff at the Moncton Coliseum say there is no time frame on how long the temporary assessment centre will be open, as the province wants to remain prepared if there is a sudden spike in cases.
New Brunswick had completed 6112 tests as of Tuesday afternoon, with the majority in the Moncton zone. The age group most affected has been between 50-60 years old.
The province has seen a total of 105 positive tests of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, with 23 of those located in the Moncton region.
On Tuesday, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health said that travel outside of New Brunswick would no longer be the ‘key determinant for referral for testing’.
"The people who should be tested, will be tested," said Dr. Jennifer Russell during Tuesday's news conference.
“Hopefully it will give us a better idea of how widespread this really is, and what can be done to slow this down,” says Moncton resident Michel Levesque.
The province says if you have symptoms and are over the age of 60, and or have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or cancer, you should call 811.