Yellowknife now has a drive-through Covid-19 testing clinic. Traffic was steady on Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of the city’s downtown primary care clinic.
Jenna Long is a registered nurse working to get Yellowknife’s drive-through testing site up and running. She talked Cabin Radio through how the new service works.
“People who are experiencing cough, fever, or shortness of breath are able to come and have their symptoms assessed and determined whether or not they qualify for a Covid swab,” she said. (If you don’t have any symptoms, the drive-through is not for you.)
If it turns out you should have a Covid-19 swab, “that can be done from the comfort of your car to limit transmission and try to increase accessibility to care,” Long explained.
The drive-through clinic is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on a first-come, first-served basis. People do not have to call ahead to make an appointment.
The testing site is in a parking lot entered from 47 Street.
When you arrive, you’ll talk to someone directing traffic who explains the process. Then you’ll be assessed by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse while still in your vehicle, under a covered tent.
The nurse will determine if a swab is necessary. If it is, they’ll take the swab and give you information about what to do next, such as self-isolation or symptom monitoring.
“Each investigation takes approximately 15 minutes. We are really trying to create an efficient process,” Long said.
The drive-through clinic opened on Monday with a soft launch, accepting referrals from public health, the clinics, and the hospital’s emergency room.
Tuesday was the clinic’s first day fully open to the public.
“Right now we have four dedicated staff doing the swabbing,” said Long. “We’ve had ebbs and flows throughout the day in terms of volume, but we’re hoping to be able to manage an increased flow over the coming days.
“If you don’t have any symptoms, please stay home. If you have questions about your symptoms or are unsure, reach out to public health,” she advised.
To speak to your local public health team, check the NWT government’s website for contact numbers.