According to Michele Heath, the Director of Community Health at the Regent Park Community Centre, although the rates are not out of control, it is still high and that’s why it is important to ensure free pop-up testing so that everyone in the community can access.
Regent Park is one of the more populated communities in downtown Toronto and it is important to have easy, free access to the testing to keep down the curve.
The 40 Oak Street site has the capacity for 20 people at a time and can accommodate 50 - 60 people on each day the test is run. 40 Oak Street was chosen for that its strategic location. It has an open and big space, in addition to the in and out exits, making it a great location and facility.
“We wanted to do anything to help in this.” said Darryl Spencer, the Senior Manager of Housing Services and Drop in Services at Fred Victor’s 40 Oak Street site.
“It’s been a challenging time over the last year, hopefully in the future potentially the vaccine out of a location like this would be an ideal scenario for us. ”
It is notable that residents are becoming more aware and serious about taking safety precautions; wearing masks and making sure to get tested if they are around people who might have got COVID.
“We have been tested before,” said two Regent Park residents waiting in line to be tested. They both expressed their interest to get tested to make sure that they and their families are safe.
“ We might have been in contact with someone who might have gotten Covid,” said one of the residents, confirming that they both wear their masks, frequently wash their hands, and stay away from crowded areas.
Michele encourages everyone to get tested especially, “If people are feeling ill and if they have been in contact with someone who has COVID.”
Andrew, a registered nurse from St. Michael’s Hospital agrees, “It is a good thing to be here in Regent Park to be able to catch any cases. Even if you think it’s just the regular flu and you have mild symptoms, you might have Covid,” warns Andrew.
The results come up within two days and residents get contacted if their results are positive.
The Regent Park Covid-19 testing site demonstrates the long-standing partnership between the Regent Park Health Centre, Fred Victor and St. Michael’s Hospital.
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