New COVID-19 screening centre in Sherbrooke

By Matthew McCully

To increase the number of COVID-19 screening tests in the population and in the midst of a progressive deconfinement, the population of the Estrie now has access to a designated screening centre (CDD) without an appointment.
The first CDD opened its doors on Tuesday, May 5, at 1 p.m., at 500 Murray Street in Sherbrooke.
Users who meet the criteria for testing can present at the CDD any day of the week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Anyone who has one of the following symptoms: fever, recent cough or an increase in chronic cough, breathing difficulties or sudden loss of smell or taste can be tested.
The target population is also those who present two of the following symptoms: sore throat, diarrhea, general malaise (muscle aches, headache, severe fatigue or loss of appetite).
This CDD is complementary to other screening sites such as the Designated Assessment Centres (DACs) in Sherbrooke, Magog, Granby and Cowansville as well as the emergency rooms in Lac-Mégantic and Asbestos.

Robin-Marie Coleman, Assistant President Director General of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS, explained how the new CDD will operate.
“It’s quite short,” Coleman said, explaining the process, which involves a few screening questions and a swab of the nose and throat takes around five minutes.
When people arrive at the CDD, a ­hospital employee will meet them outside and refer them to a designated parking area. They can then wait in their car, and will be directed indoors when it is time to be tested. “There’s no grouping,” Coleman said, explaining the method they chose is the safest option for the population.
When asked if a person is symptomatic if they should bring the whole family for testing, Coleman explained that only people with symptoms should present at the clinic.
With tens of thousands of people and students about to leave confinement, The Record asked why those people were not being tested before re-entering schools or the workforce. “You have to have symptoms, otherwise the chance of a positive result is very weak,” Coleman explained, so it would not necessarily identify a potential carrier of the virus.
The Record also asked Coleman why some people who had presented in recent weeks at testing clinics and were visibly sick but had been refused a test.
According to Coleman, until last Thursday, the priority was frontline healthcare workers. Because the number of tests available was limited, anyone who was sick but not on the frontline working was told to quarantine. With deconfinement, more testing is necessary, Coleman said, so any member of the public with symptoms is now eligible to be tested.

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