Queen’s tests 400 students at COVID-19 testing centre in first week

Centre meets demand, gets mixed reviews from students

The testing centre is located in Mitchell Hall.

After its first week of operations, the Queen’s COVID-19 testing centre is provoking mixed responses from student users.

The centre opened in Mitchell Hall on Sept. 15 for pre-booked appointments Monday to Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.

According to Cynthia Gibney, executive director of Student Wellness Services (SWS), about 400 students were tested at the centre last week.

READ MORE: Queen’s opens COVID-19 testing centre on campus

Three students have tested positive for COVID-19, with the University confirming the latest case on Thursday. The students have followed the necessary Public Health protocols and are self-isolating.

Madeleine Prins-Gervais, ArtSci ’21, was tested at Mitchell Hall on Monday. She said the whole process took approximately 30 minutes.

“It was a very easy and seamless process,” she told The Journal. “Everything was very well organized.”

Upon arriving at the centre, she waited outside to be called in. At the time of her appointment, the centre was running about 20 minutes late.

“I think they did a really good job, and it’s a great option for the Queen’s community and just the general public,” Prins-Gervais said.

Brett Scott, ArtSci ’21, said he went to the Leon’s Centre to get tested on the morning of Sept. 15. He told The Journal he wanted to get tested as soon as possible—he works in a hospital—and didn’t want to wait for the Queen’s testing centre to open.

After waiting for five hours in line, he was informed they wouldn’t test Queen’s students.

Scott called SWS and—after being on hold for an hour—was able to get an appointment at the Queen’s testing centre that evening. He showed up for his scheduled appointment and waited for over an hour before he was tested.

READ MORE: Queen’s prepares for an outbreak with new Incident Command Structure

“My experience actually in the testing centre, getting tested, was good and the nurse was really helpful,” Scott said. “But getting set up and actually trying to get into the centre was a little frustrating.”

According Gibney, demand for the centre is being met so far—all testing requests have been booked and hours of operation are being monitored to ensure demand will continue to be met.

“This clinic’s mandate remains prioritizing students that screen positive—that is: they have symptoms, they have travelled outside Canada, or they been in direct contact with a positive case,” she wrote in a statement to The Journal. “We may be able to book additional students, but only if the clinic is not full with priority tests.”

Students receive their test results within three to five days.

“Regretfully we have seen several no-shows at the testing centre,” Gibney added. “It is important that students make every effort to keep their booked appointments or advise us if they cannot make it so that we can ensure we are able to complete as many tests as possible.”

Students can call 613-533-2506 to book an appointment at the centre.

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