For the second time since March, and the start of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Assessment Clinic established by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and administered by the Guelph Family Health Team, will be moving. Starting next week, those in need of a COVID-19 test will have to make their way to the south end to find out if they have the virus.
The clinic will shut down at its current location at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre early on Thursday September 10, and will re-open again at its new location at 400 Southgate Drive on Friday September 11. The clinic was set-up at the rec centre on April 6 when all City of Guelph facilities were shut down in the initial lockdown phase of the pandemic, but July’s move to the Stage 3 of the provincial re-opening allowed for rec centres to re-open if they could do so safely.
“We knew when the province went into Phase 3 the Victoria Rec Centre would need to go back to its original purpose. The challenge was finding a new location,” said Guelph General Hospital’s VP of Finance and Chief Information Officer Gavin Webb, who noted the unlikelihood that COVID is going away anytime soon, so the work of the clinic must continue.
The City has since re-opened the West End Rec Centre earlier this month with access to the swimming pool and the the library branch inside, but the Victoria Road Centre couldn’t re-open to the public until the assessment centre found somewhere more permanent. The Southgate Drive location is being provided by Danby Products, and is being touted for its proximity to a transit route (#16 Southgate), and easy access by car via the Hanlon at Laird Road.
“The Assessment Centre in Guelph has played a key role in responding to the pandemic in our community,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in a statement. “We thank our partners for their continuing work to protect our community from the virus.”
The original location of the assessment centre was on Delhi Street near Guelph General Hosptial, but that location was abandoned after only a couple of weeks due to accessibility issues. “When the pandemic began there were so many unknowns,” said Ross Kirkconnell, Executive Director of the Guelph Family Health Team. “It was clear at the beginning there was an immediate need and we were fortunate a building near the hospital was available.”
According to the latest numbers from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health there are now 19 active cases of COVID-19 in our area, including three new cases in the last 24 hours. That brings the total up to 559 including 260 in Guelph, 92 in Wellington County, and 200 in Dufferin County. Half the current active cases are in Guelph alone, and the number of fatalities has remained at 37 since June 23.
The COVID-19 Assessment Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm.