SARNIA, ONT. -- In a bid to stave off a COVID-19 outbreak in a school setting, Lambton Public Health has opened student-only testing centres.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, said parent Sarah Gough who took her six year old son to get tested at the Sarnia site on Tuesday.

“My son had congestion so I just decided to bring him because that’s protocol for sending him back to school.”

The first clinic opened in the former Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Secondary School on Wellington Street in Sarnia earlier this week. A second clinic has opened in Forest, and a third is set to open in Petrolia on Thursday.

“Even without COVID, colds coming home and flus coming home, so it’s nerve-wracking,” said Gough.

Lambton Public Health Manager of Family Planning Kevin Churchill said this is not like a normal school year, “where you could send a child to school with a bit of a runny nose or a cough.”

He said the centres are meant to provide a convenient way for parents to get their children tested.

“The child can get back to school, they can get back to work, and we’re not putting additional pressure on the assessment centres that are very busy testing adults and people who want to visit somebody at a nursing home and those kinds of things.”

Churchill said any student who is experiencing symptoms should get tested.

Parent Sarah Gough said going through the process helped put her mind at ease.

“I like that. It was very informative and quick, and you could have questions and they had the answers like ‘do I have to keep both my kids home?’ And they said the asymptomatic can go to school and the other one has to stay home.”