The province is stepping up its novel coronavirus testing capacity as drive-through testing clinics are set to open across Quebec this week. One in Quebec city began operation on Wednesday and will take samples from residents seven days a week by appointment only, according to a statement on the CIUSSS de la Capitale‐Nationale website. "We must act quickly and well to effectively combat the spread of the virus and the increase in our ability to take samples serves this cause," said Assistant Director Serge Garneau.

The new clinic will supplement an increase in testing at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale (IUSMQ), bringing the total testing capacity for the facility to 400 samples a day.

To make an appointment for a sample at the drive-through, people will have to call 1-877-644-4545.

"A nurse will then contact the applicant to:

  • "make an evaluation of their physical condition;

  • "make an appointment;

  • "explain the preferred method of sampling;

  • "give instructions on how to get to the clinic;

  • "give isolation instructions." 

Another drive-through station is set to open at the Hôpital de Saint-Georges in the Chaudière-Appalaches region. That clinic will also be open seven days of the week.

There, residents will have to "call the COVID-19 line (1-877-644-4545) to confirm your symptoms. If the intervener informs you that you need to go to the drive-through service, call 811 for an appointment."

Drive-through clinics have already opened in Ontario and British Columbia, in addition to several U.S. states like New York (pictured above) and Massachusetts.

“Providing a stand-alone testing location supports multiple public health goals," according to Dr. Assaad Sayah of the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts: "increased ease of testing, limiting risk of incidental infection and preserving hospital resources for the most ill patients."

Quebec health officials released guidelines for individuals to follow to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province, you can read about them here.

More information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.

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