Community outbreak prompts long lines at London, Ont. assessment centres
LONDON, ONT. -- There were long wait times at both of London's assessment centres and at Western University centre amid a community outbreak that saw five student cases reported on Sunday and potential exposures at local businesses.
The Carling Heights Assessment Centre closed early on Sunday due to the excessive wait times, which stretched to three hours, and there were long lines as it reopened at 11 a.m. Monday.
By three o’clock Monday afternoon, the centre stopped allowing cars to enter as they reached capacity. Cars were being turned away and told to return on Tuesday.
The lineup at the Oakridge Arena had already extended onto nearby streets as of 10 a.m.
At times the cars lined up at Oakridge were 75 deep and stretching up to five blocks. Jacob Ennis was there because his roommates go to Western University and he’s concerned.
“Never seen a line up like this, it’s crazy,” he said.
Monika Bock was in line for more than an hour-and-a-half, “I have a bad cold and I'm a personal trainer and have a yoga studio and I cannot put any of my clients into any risk and I need to know if I have it or not.”
Logan Gunn says he’s spent time on the Western campus, ”I worked at the university a couple of days and so I felt kind of unsafe and so I just wanted to come in make sure everything is alright pretty much.”
Despite the long lineups there are no plans to open more assessment centres right now and if people are thinking about getting tested, Middlesex-London Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says they should follow the COVID-19 guidelines.
“If you do not have symptoms and you do not have contact with a known case of COVID-19, please do not go get tested at the assessment centres, “ said Dr. Mackie. “ We really have to prioritize testing at this point for people who do have symptoms.”
Meanwhile Western University set up its own assessment site in the Social Science Centre parking lot, open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
But within an-hour-and-a-half of opening, Western had already hit its 220-person capacity, either in the centre or in line and gave anyone else in line a red ticket so they could leave and return in a few hours.
Some students expressed disappointment that they came at the first opportunity after class and were turned away.
Students can also make an appointment to get tested at the Student Health Care Clinic.
- With files from CTV's Brent Lale and Jim Knight