Starting today, residents of Ontario can seek COVID-19 testing at up to 60 Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and independent pharmacy locations across the province.
The Ontario government introduced the initiative as a way to relieve some of the pressure on COVID-19 assessment centres where residents have reported waiting in lineups for as long as eight hours in recent weeks.
As a result, the province has updated the testing guidelines to indicate that asymptomatic, low-risk individuals should no longer get a test at a hospital assessment centre — contrary to Premier Ford's previous instructions.
Instead, asymptomatic individuals who require a test for certain reasons, such as visiting a loved one in long-term care, can now make an appointment in advance and receive a test at a local pharmacy.
Starting today, you can get tested for #COVID19 at select pharmacies if you are not showing symptoms and by appointment only, with further locations coming online in the coming weeks. See the updated testing guidelines here: https://t.co/8TJ2S7XOUF pic.twitter.com/XArilP2l8F— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) September 25, 2020
A full list of participating pharmacy locations can be found on the provincial government's website, and new locations are expected to be added in the coming weeks.
In Toronto, at least 18 pharmacies are set to provide the service to start off:
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 1630 Danforth Avenue
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 1601 Bayview Avenue
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 1027 Yonge Street
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 3446 Dundas Street West
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 1400 Dupont Street
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 360A Bloor Street West
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 123 Rexdale Boulevard
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 900 Albion Road
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 3874 Bathurst Street
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 2550 Finch Avenue West
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 2751 Eglinton Avenue East
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 629 Markham Road
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 2301 Kingston Road
- Shoppers Drug Mart at 1780-A Markham Road
- Medicine Shoppe 134 at 2600 Eglinton Avenue West
- Village Square Pharmacy at 2942 Finch Avenue East
- Rexall at 4459 Kingston Road
- Rexall at 901 Eglinton Avenue West
"We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing," said Ford during his daily pandemic press conference when announcing the news on Wednesday.
"With everyone pitching in, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 50,000 tests a day and stopping the spread of COVID-19."
by Mira Miller via blogTO