There will be two pop-up COVID-19 testing sites opening in Kitchener later this month.
The sites are part of a pilot project and will operate in local community centres.
The clinics are located at Kingsdale Community Centre at 72 Wilson Ave. and Victoria Hills Community Centre at 10 Chopin Dr.
The Kingsdale location will have clinics on Feb. 11, 18 and 25 between 2 and 5 p.m. and will serve residents in the Vanier and Rockway neighbourhoods.
Victoria Hills will be open on Feb. 16 and 22 and March 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. for people living in Highland West and Victoria Hills.
In a news release, the City of Kitchener said the project is part of a collaboration with the African Caribbean and Black Network of Waterloo Region, the African Family Revival Organization and the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area. It's supported by St. Mary's General Hospital, Region of Waterloo Public Health and the City of Kitchener.
“Proactive leadership from those close to these communities has helped design a model intended to be as locally accessible as possible,” said Lee Fairclough, St. Mary’s President, in the release. “By working closely with community leaders, we look forward to learning through this pilot what works best for their residents so we can adjust the model where needed.”
The release said the region looked for high-priority neighbourhoods and worked testing partners to make it more accessible.
“Local data for Waterloo Region demonstrates that COVID-19 has a greater impact on residents who are Black, racialized and those living with low income,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang in the release. “We are grateful to our partners who have utilized this data and worked with community leaders to make testing accessible in priority neighbourhoods. This has truly been a community partnership approach.”
The sites will be staffed by physicians and nurses trained in medical and infection control. Public health officials will follow up with any positive cases and close contacts.
The space is provided by the City of Kitchener and there will be electronic information signs in several languages at the sites.