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Fraser Health to open COVID-19 testing site in Tri-Cities as one closes

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Sep 25, 2020 at 6:27 pm PDT

Summary

A new COVID-19 test collection centre will open in Coquitlam as the only other one in the area is set to close: FHA

The new test site will be in TransLink's Coquitlam Central park-and-ride lot, located at 2796 Aberdeen Avenue, and open

The site will have the capacity to conduct as many as 800 tests daily

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — A new COVID-19 test collection centre will open in Coquitlam as the only other one in the area is set to close, the Fraser Health Authority announced Friday.

The new test site will be in TransLink’s Coquitlam Central park-and-ride lot, located at 2796 Aberdeen Avenue, and open Oct. 5.

The site will have the capacity to conduct as many as 800 tests daily, says Fraser Health, with drive-through lanes and walk-in options.

It will be open seven days a week for those who are experiencing symptoms.

“While Fraser Health already had plans underway to open a new test collection centre in the Tri-Cities, we have accelerated our timeline to ensure our centre would open earlier,” says a release.

Norm Peters, the health authority’s vice president of regional care integration, adds the Coquitlam Central site has been in the works long before the temporary private clinic opened in June.

“While it may appear that we are opening in response, this actually had been the plan all along,” he says. “This private clinic was actually not connected to us as part of our overall community-based strategy. Many physicians still continue to provide the tests within their own offices.”

Doctors opened the Tri-Cities COVID-19 and Influenza-Like Illness Assessment Clinic along Lougheed Highway in Port Coquitlam in June with the understanding that a new, high-capacity public site would open in several weeks.

After four months, though, the doctors at the private clinic said they don’t have the staff or resources to keep going after Oct. 2.

Mayors in the Tri-Cities then expressed concern with how far people will have to go to get tested.

READ ALSO: Tri-Cities mayors plead for another COVID-19 public testing site

Fraser Health was officially notified Thursday that the Port Coquitlam test collection centre would be closing.

“Fraser Health extends our gratitude to the physicians who undertook this important service for people living in the Tri-Cities.”

Walk-in and drive-through testing will be available at the new site and an online booking tool can be used to secure appointment times.

While testing without an appointment will be accommodated as space allows, people are encouraged to book appointments online for the Tri-Cities, Langley, Surrey and Burnaby test collection services.

-with files from Marcella Bernardo and Monika Gul