WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor Regional Hospital is now encouraging anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19 to visit the assessment centre.  

A news release from the hospital pointed to premier Doug Ford’s comments Sunday advising the opportunity be available for all stating, “you will not be turned away, even if you or your family don’t have symptoms. If you feel you need a test, you will be able to get a test.”

Since the assessment centre opened on March 16, there have been 3,873 people out of 4,515 individuals, a 86 per cent testing rate, the hospital states. Initially there were a specific set of guidelines in place but the criteria has since expanded in the past few weeks.

“With the Premier’s declaration Sunday morning, there should no longer be any confusion – if you want a test, you can get a test,” said WRH President David Musyj. “We have often said you really don’t know what you don’t know – in other words you can’t get control of this pandemic unless you test as many people as possible and have a better picture of how many people have tested positive then do aggressive contact tracing to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The WRH COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at Ouellette Campus next to the emergency department, it is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and parking is free.

“Our hope is that this gives additional incentive for individuals to seek not only tests but also medical care in a clinic-like setting while possibly avoiding having to attend another clinic or placing pressure in our Emergency Department,” Dr. Wassim Saad, WRH Chief of Staff said.

Dr. Saad also said the testing cente is designed to be “among the cleanest environments for patients at this time.”

There are cleaning protocols in place, staff wears full personal protective equipment and masks are handed out immediately when a patient arrives, he said.

There is no referral needed from Telehealth Ontario or the Health Unit to be tested, the hospital says. Those who attend for a COVID-19 test can also receive a primary care exam for any symptoms that may require medical attention.