OTTAWA — Thirteen pharmacies in Ottawa will offer COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic patients, some starting on Friday.
Premier Doug Ford announced COVID-19 tests will be available in up to 60 pharmacies across the province. Ontarians who make an appointment and have no COVID-19 symptoms will be able to get a free COVID-19 test.
Ford said the initiative will reduce pressure on the province’s 147 assessment centres, some of which have seen long lineups in recent weeks. Ottawa’s two COVID-19 care clinics reached capacity shortly after opening on Wednesday.
The owner of the Medicine Shoppe on Canotek Road said this all started less than a week ago but they are getting materials Thursday and hope to be ready to offer testing Friday.
“It’s a rush, but we can handle it,” owner Chantal Samaha told CTV News Ottawa. “At worst it will be Monday or Tuesday at the latest.”
The Medicine Shoppe, unlike other pharmacies in the city, will only be offering testing after regular business hours. The location is small and Samaha does not want to put anyone at risk by mixing customers and those seeking testing.
“I want to protect my customers and my patients and my employees,” Samaha said. “And with all the workload and we are starting the flu shot very soon so it will be after hours.”
Cedarview Pharmacy says it doesn’t know if it will be ready to test people on Friday because it’s still waiting for more information.
CTV News Ottawa contacted each of the pharmacies on the Ontario Government list that are in Ottawa.
Many said they were working hard to meet the Friday deadline but could not say if they will make it.
Some will start booking appointments Thursday afternoon for Friday appointments. Others are still waiting on information and equipment to arrive.
Most agree that the requests to do the Covid testing came with little notice and although they are all willing to help out it’s a struggle to get things in place to meet the Friday deadline.
With the new testing locations, there is concern from some health care professionals that the wait for test results will increase. Dr. Michael Warner a critical care doctor at Michael Garron Hospital questions the additional test being done at pharmacies.
“If all those tests go to the same lab as my patients,” Warner said,” we actually extend turnaround times even more.”
Here is the list of pharmacies in Ottawa where you will be able to get a COVID-19 test, along with whether they will be ready to test on Friday:
Shoppers Drug Mart: 1180 Walkley Road, Ottawa, ON, K1V 2M5, (613) 737 3344 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/620/ (
Shoppers Drug Mart: 647 Earl Armstrong Road, Ottawa, ON, K1V 2G2, (613) 822-6746 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1161/ (Will be open for testing Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Shoppers Drug Mart: 455 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 1Y9, (613) 238 9041 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1428/ (Starting to book appointments Thursday after 2 p.m.)
Shoppers Drug Mart: 541 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON, K1K 0V1, (613) 740-0616 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/641/ (Starting to book appointments at noon Thursday for Friday)
Shoppers Drug Mart: 40 Innes Road, Orleans, ON, K1W 1K9, (613) 834-7383 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1139/
Shoppers Drug Mart: 2954 St. Joseph Boulevard, Orleans, ON, K1C 1G7, (613) 841-1535 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1230/ (Will start booking appointments on Friday for testing on the weekend)
Shoppers Drug Mart: 1937 Portobello Boulevard, Orleans, ON, K4A 4W9, (613) 590-1626 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1254/
Shoppers Drug Mart: 1 – 2148 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K2A 1H1, (613) 725 9990 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/622/
Shoppers Drug Mart: 1309 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1Z 7L3, (613)-722-4277 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/628/ (Won’t be ready for Friday, but will start taking appointmnets for Monday)
Shoppers Drug Mart: 1102 Klondike Road, Kanata, ON, K2K 1X7, (613) 592-6010 https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1324/
Cedarview Pharmacy: 12 – 4100 Strandherd Drive, Nepean, ON, K2J 0V2, (613) 823-1700, http://myownpharmacy.ca/guardian
Medicine Shoppe: 19 – 5303 Canotek Road, Ottawa, ON, K1J 9M1, (613) 745-5905, https://www.medicineshoppe.ca/en/ontario/ottawa/the-medicine-shoppe-pharmacy-143-7009763
Rexall: 1615 Orleans Boulevard, Orleans, ON, K1C 7E2, (613) 824-0082, https://www.rexall.ca/storelocator/store/95
– With files from Josh Pringle, CTV News Ottawa
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