Laval mayor accused of double standard over quick COVID-19 test result

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Laval citizens are accusing their mayor of benefiting from a double standard after he received a COVID-19 test result in 24 hours.

Catherine Latendresse said her six-year-old son, who showed virus symptoms, didn't receive a test result for over five days, forcing him to stay home even after his symptoms were gone. She said she was forced to wait nearly five hours at a screening clinic before her son was even able to get tested.

Other Laval residents said they had to wait between five and eight days to get their results.

Last week, Mayor Marc Demers received a negative test result just a day after being tested for COVID-19.

The Laval regional health authority said there has been a significant increase in the number of tests administered since the school year began. They estimated it can take an average of three to four days to receive a result, compared to an average time of 36 hours several weeks ago.

Between Sept. 7 and 13, 6'575 people were tested, an increase of 1,642 from the previous week, for an average of 939 tests per day.

The peak was on Sept. 8, when 1,094 people were tested.

“The wait is longer but it must be taken into account there are many more tests than in recent weeks,” said health authority spokesperson Judith Goudreau.

“Our goal is to get back to the previous average and that's why we've put new measures in place.”

Those measures include additional staff at clinics and new ways of communication test results, such as by text, rather than phone calls.

Two new screening clinics were added in Laval last week, in addition to the three that were already open.  

This report by the Local Journalism Initiative was first published Sept. 15, 2020.

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