New COVID-19 testing lab and assessment centre expansion in Timmins area
TIMMINS -- Public health units across northern Ontario are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
In Timmins, local officials are providing daily updates during their Mayor’s Health Round Table during the noon hour.
The Porcupine Health Unit made some key updates on Tuesday, stating that it now has its own COVID-19 testing lab up and running.
There are also two new COVID-19 assessment centres in the district, one open in Cochrane starting Wednesday and another in Iroquois Falls that will start operations Thursday. Assessment centres require a referral, so people should first call the health unit to get assessed and tested first.
Health officials reiterated that the agency is only testing people who have symptoms, and mainly those who have travelled internationally or were in close contact with a confirmed case.
The medical officer of health for the area, Dr. Lianne Catton, added that PHU is expanding testing to healthcare workers and long-term care home residents and staff. However, even with broader testing capacity, Dr. Catton says there’s still a limit to how much testing labs can do.
"It’s not a guarantee that absolutely everyone will be tested, and we know this is similar across the system. We'll not have the capacity, as a province or as Canada, to test every individual going forward," said Dr. Catton.
CTV News have more from the latest daily update on the Timmins area COVID-19 situation with the mayor, health unit, hospital and other city officials soon.