In the next few days, Ontario is opening six COVID-19 testing facilities that are away from hospitals. One of them is in Ottawa, the rest in the Toronto area.

In our region, Porcupine Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton  says she’s working with community health partners on setting up testing and assessment facilities in places other than emergency rooms.  The idea is to prevent the spread of coronavirus in ERs.

“It is always a concern when we see increased risk of infections in communities and we are working on alternate options and as soon as we have anything in place, we’ll definitely be communicating that with community members,” she says.

In the meantime, Dr. Catton has advice if you’re feeling unwell and have a hard time breathing.

“Do not hesitate to be seen, but ensure that they advise health care providers and EMS or anyone else they’re access services from that they do have symptoms and they potentially had a travel or other exposure history that may put them at risk for this.”

Catton notes that the most vulnerable to contract the virus is anyone already battling a medical condition and the elderly.