Take-home tests gone in under an hour at pop-up site in Windsor

·2 min read
Each person who arrived at the Windsor testing site was allowed to take one kit, which have five at-home COVID-19 tests inside. The line of people at the university stretched all the way to the next few blocks toward Wyandotte Street. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)
Each person who arrived at the Windsor testing site was allowed to take one kit, which have five at-home COVID-19 tests inside. The line of people at the university stretched all the way to the next few blocks toward Wyandotte Street. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC - image credit)

Hundreds of determined people bundled up Wednesday morning in Windsor as they headed out to get their hands on a COVID-19 rapid test kit at a pop-up site.

Wednesday marked the first of three scheduled giveaways, which are part of Ontario's pop-up testing blitz. Two more sites are scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the University of Windsor in the Education Parking Lot.

All of the 1,000 rapid antigen test kits at the University of Windsor were snatched up within about 40 minutes Wednesday, leaving some people without kits to take home.

"I really wasn't looking forward to this but now that they're available here in Windsor, I decided to take advantage of it," said resident Anne Stevelsky, as she headed home with a testing kit in hand.

Darrin Di Carlo/CBC
Darrin Di Carlo/CBC

Each person who arrived at the site was allowed to take one kit, which have five at-home COVID-19 tests inside. The line of people at the university stretched all the way to the next few blocks toward Wyandotte street.

Many of the people who attended the pop-up told CBC News they were feeling relieved and safer after picking up their kits, especially now that Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are no longer available to the general public.

"I was a little bit concerned, but now I feel a little safer because I can immediately test at home myself, and if I test positive I can immediately quarantine myself. So yeah, I feel a little safer and also I won't infect others," said Wamsi Kurramsatty.

Darrin Di Carlo/CBC
Darrin Di Carlo/CBC

The Ford government distributed a first round of rapid tests through LCBO locations in December but those were quickly snapped up too. The pop-ups were then expanded into high-traffic settings like malls, libraries and transit hubs over the last month.

The distribution of the tests is part of the government's plan to mitigate "increased risk of transmission," according to a provincial media release.

The pop-ups are expected to continue through to mid-January, with over two million tests expected to be distributed.

"People obviously need it right, so I feel like they should definitely have more sites so people have more opportunities to get rapid tests," said Mitchel Gadd at the testing site.

The government is advising anyone going to get a test kit to wear a face mask and dress for the weather. Anyone who has been in close contact with a positive case or has COVID-19 symptoms is being asked to stay away.

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