The Whitehorse drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre reopened on Nov. 10 and was quickly inundated with a long line of Yukoners requiring confirmation of the virus.
Starting before 8:30 a.m., a line of cars stretched around the converted car wash.
By 11:45 a.m., resident Ruth Ferguson said she had been waiting in line for over an hour with around 20 cars remaining in front of her at the time she spoke to the News.
“They’re doing the best they can,” she said, adding that she hopes her symptoms are just a cold but decided to get tested just in case. “I’m very grateful that I can get this done, it’s just you drive up and you think, ‘I should have brought my computer. I should have brought my book. I should have brought some lunch.’”
Another source told the News they waited for more than two hours this morning. They arrived at the testing centre at 8:15, before it opened, to find a line of cars already waiting.
|A line of cars is seen at the drive-thru testing centre at 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 10. (Submitted)|
Shortly before 1 p.m., approximately 40 cars were still stretched along the curb of the Alaska Highway Frontage Road, up Roundel Road and Burns Road to the entrance of the car wash.
The drive-thru centre at 91628 Alaska Highway (Centennial Motors) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days per week. The facility will be open on Remembrance Day. Appointments are not required.
Appointments must be booked online at the regular testing centre 49A Waterfront Place in Whitehorse. At time of publishing, results for standard tests were available in two days.
During a COVID-19 press briefing on Nov. 10, acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott said current turnaround times for tests are between 36 and 48 hours.
“We are not concerned about our testing capacity at this point,” Elliot said. “We are expanding our testing capacity to meet the need that exists.”
She said rapid testing is only recommended in certain circumstances because the results are not as conclusive as regular tests. She said Health Canada is currently in the process of approving home testing kits.
“We are optimistic that these sort of test kits will be offered in our own pharmacies here in the near future,” she said.
— With files from Jim Elliot
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