“Our testing centres have really been overwhelmed with testing.”
That’s Dr. Paula Stewart, the Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. In an interview, Dr. Stewart explains what steps you should take if you’re considering being tested for COVID-19.
“If you’re asymptomatic,” Stewart says, “don’t go to the assessment centre. If you’re someone who has been identified as someone who’s a high-risk contact, either from your household or from friends, then watch for symptoms.” She says symptomatic people are the health unit’s top priority for tests right now because the demand is so high.
Dr. Stewart also says you can access all the information you’d be given at an assessment centre online, if you’re concerned you may have COVID-19. “We’ve actually put fact sheets in that are identical to the information that a nurse would be providing to people who [test positive], or are a high risk contact,” she says.
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, Dr. Stewart is encouraging you to consider getting tested at a pharmacy rather than a community clinic, as the wait times may be shorter. She also recommends self-isolating until you’re able to get tested and if you test positive, including avoiding other members of your household if possible. The health unit’s website has a list of places you can get tested within the region.