By RENE J. ROY
PORT AUX BASQUES – The Western Health testing site for COVID-19 will get a new home in downtown Port aux Basques.
“Given the change in weather, over the next several weeks Western Health will be moving the testing to an indoor location at 28 Main Street,” stated Tara Pye, Communications Director for Western Health, via-email.
That’s the address of the small taxi stand next to the Butterfly Book Boutique on Main Street. The current mobile testing is little more than a windbreak in the parking lot of MP Place behind the RCMP building in Grand Bay West. That makes for a cold experience for both staff and those waiting to be tested.
Those same staff will conduct the testing at the new location, and will also likely be able to provide rapid testing, given they will have a proper facility to do so, although that information has not yet been confirmed.
Neither has the hours of operation, with Pye explaining, “The hours of operation at the testing site will depend on the number of tests scheduled. As well, additional staff may be hired for COVID testing if required.”
The announcement of a new testing site comes shortly after a surge in testing thanks to the recent diagnosis that a crewmember on the Blue Puttees had tested positive. Anyone who traveled on the vessel over the holidays was urged to get a test done.
The staff conducting the tests was forced to walk throughout the parking lot in full winter gear, from one vehicle to another, with little protection from bitter cold and winds. With the promise of a more pleasant indoor facility, the process will likely prove a bit easier to manage as well as more comfortable.
Individuals can call 811 or access the online self-assessment tool to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. Individuals will be contacted by public health to book an appointment if a COVID test is required.
Western Health did not respond to further inquiries prior to publication deadline.