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Hamilton Public Health Services launches community mobile COVID-19 testing

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Hamilton Public Health Services launches community mobile COVID-19 testing

Hamilton Public Health Services (PHS) is launching a mobile COVID-19 testing initiative this week in an effort to provide low-barrier testing to the city’s most vulnerable populations.

On Monday (March 1), PHS said the first community clinic will be held Thursday and Friday (March 4 and 5) at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC) on Ottawa Street North from 1 to 4 p.m. No appointments are necessary.

The goal is “to provide convenient and accessible testing for the local Indigenous community, as well as individuals who fall within the Ontario provincial guidelines,” a PHS press release said.

“These areas have been identified by Hamilton Public Health Services as having low testing rates, high COVID-19 incidence rates, and/or barriers to accessing current COVID-19 Assessment Centres.”

Other pop-up testing sites are expected to be determined in the coming weeks for ‘priority’ neighbourhoods as they are needed.

An HSR bus will be used to support mobile testing where a site cannot be set-up within an existing facility.

Hamilton’s Paramedics Services in partnership with PHS is helping to roll out this latest initiative to address COVID-19 and its significant impact on vulnerable populations.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 at several of Hamilton’s shelters that provide services to the city’s homeless, another population disproportionately impacted by the virus, has forced shelters to limit services and access to the system for fear of continuing the spread of the virus.

On Monday, the city announced that a temporary isolation shelter, located at Central Memorial Recreation Centre has opened in an effort to break the cycle of COVID-19 transmission amongst shelter residents and staff, and to preserve shelter system capacity.

“This location will begin accepting a small number of COVID positive individuals this evening for approximately three weeks,” a Monday press release said.

“This isolation shelter is only available for those who have been assessed and referred by shelter and health officials.”

To learn more about the City of Hamilton’s response to COVID-19, visit its website.

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