COVID-19 testing sites see demand surge as cases rise, kids return to school

OTTAWA — Provinces are looking to expand COVID-19 testing as Canadians in many provinces wait long hours to be swabbed or can't get in for testing at all.

Demand for testing surged in much of the country in recent days, as schools and universities reopened and the number of positive cases began to surge, raising fears that a second wave of the pandemic has arrived.

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Ottawa health officials say they are experiencing record line-ups for testing and are extending testing site hours to try to accommodate the demand.

One testing site in Ottawa's west end closed its doors to new arrivals for the second day in a row as the line had already grown to the site's daily capacity before noon.

In London, Ont., a testing site at Western University hit capacity only two hours after opening Monday, after word spread that five students on campus had tested positive.

Ontario chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams says Ontario is looking ahead to managing long testing lines as the weather gets cooler by adding new sites and figuring out how to have people wait indoors safely despite the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2020.

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