COVID-19 testing expands in C-K

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(Image courtesy Spc. Miguel Pena, U.S. Army Reserve)

Chatham has another COVID-19 test site.

The Shoppers Drug Mart in the Nortown Plaza on St. Clair Street now offers testing, but with some serious restrictions.

According to a recorded message on the pharmacy’s phone line, testing is for asymptomatic people only. But it’s further refined than that.

“This pharmacy offers asymptomatic COVID-19 testing only to individuals who meet criteria established by the province,” the message states.

People eligible for testing are those who are residents or workers in long-term care homes; people who are visitors to such facilities; residents or workers in homeless shelters; international students who have passed their 14-day quarantine periods; farm workers; people who require testing for travel clearance, but have not been in contact with a “probable or confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days;” and people who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 30 days.

Don’t come in for testing at the pharmacy if you have COVID-19. Also, don’t come in if you’ve been advised to get a COVID-19 test by CK Public Health due to exposure to a confirmed case, or as part of an outbreak investigation; if you’ve been advised through the COVID-19 phone app to get tested; or if you’ve travelled outside Canada in the past two weeks.

The Ontario government recently added a number of pharmacies across the province as COVID-19 testing sites, with the majority in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa, but on Friday announced more pharmacies would be involved.

The St. Clair Street Shoppers is Chatham-Kent’s first such pharmacy test site.

While the pharmacy is a centre for asymptomatic testing, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Assessment Centre is for those with actual symptoms or for people who think they’ve been exposed to the virus.

Symptoms include a new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, temperature equal to or over 38C, feeling feverish, chills, fatigue or weakness, muscle or body aches, new loss of smell or taste, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting), and feeling very unwell.

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