COVID-19 assessment centre to open in Harriston in October

Wait times at Fergus assessment centre can exceed three hours; officials working on appointment-based system

HARRISTON – A new COVID-19 assessment centre is expected to open in Harriston next month.

The centre, the second in Wellington County, will be located in the old train station on Arthur Street, which is now a seniors centre.

Health officials confirmed the news on Sept. 22.

“When the lease was up on our Mount Forest Assessment Centre, we started the search to find a new location for our Wellington North, Minto and Mapleton residents,” stated Alison Armstrong, communications official with Groves Memorial Community Hospital and North Wellington Health Care, in an email to the Advertiser.

“We are hoping to have the Harriston Centre open in early October.”

Armstrong added, “We are working with the Town of Minto, Ontario Health, public health and local Family Health Teams to finalize details.”

Officials are currently searching for employees to staff the Fergus and Harriston centres.

Full-time and part-time positions are available for nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered practical nurses and registration clerks.

The previous assessment centre at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex opened on April 21 and closed on Aug. 28.

The Fergus centre, located in the old Groves hospital, opened on Aug. 31.

Since then, the Fergus assessment centre has been busy, with wait times surpassing three hours at times.

“We are experiencing higher than normal volumes,” Armstrong said.

“This is the case at most Waterloo-Wellington assessment centres. Currently, wait time at the Groves Assessment Centre can be approximately three hours.

“The lineups are long and based on volume, you may be asked to come back on another day if we have met our daily capacity.”

The Fergus assessment centre is developing on an appointment-based system to help alleviate long lineups, Armstrong said.

Officials are reminding people the assessment centres offer only COVID-19 testing.

“If people have any other health questions or concerns, please check with your family doctor,” Armstrong said.