Obsolete: Local official believes COVID-19 testing centres will not see second anniversary
Kim Planques, the director of the Carling Heights COVID-19 assessment centre in London Ont., on March 16, 2021. (Sean Irvine/CTV News)
LONDON, ONT. -- It has been one year since the London’s first COVID-19 testing centre opened.
It's a milestone no one in the Forest City anticipated 13 months ago, including Kim Planques.
Planques is the director of the Carling Heights COVID-19 assessment centre.
“Some days it feels like Groundhog Day. It’s just feels like the same thing over and over. But when we look back and reflect, we’ve made so many changes and adjustments.”
How people are processed has been the key adaptation over the last year.
Londoners, especially those who waited for a test, recall the long lines of vehicles leading to the assessment centres.
Thankfully, that was corrected.
“We went from having people lined up for hours at a time, to the online booking system. It has been a lifesaver.”
Last March, Planques says the two assessment centres were capable of testing about 100 people a day. Now, combined, they can test nearly 900.
As people come in, Planques says, their attitudes are changing. “At the beginning there was more community fear.”
While people are still worried about the virus, education and the arrival of vaccines brings new hope.
Hope that the COVID-19 testing centres will no longer be needed.
Planques is confident enough to predict both London locations will not have a second anniversary.
"I hope so, as more and more people get vaccines in arms, there will be less and less people that require the services here.”
While not holding herself to the date, Planques is hopeful the centres will be closed by Christmas.