The Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) continues to poll those undergoing COVID-19 testing to gain insight into accessibility and wait times.
“Ninety-eight per cent of respondents to our survey received a COVID-19 test, or an appointment for a test, from the location at which they initially sought testing, which is up from 80 per cent the week of Sept. 28,” noted Ian Arra, Medical Officer of Health for GBHU.
In early September, Arra voiced his concerns around the need for increased testing in the region.
Since that time, all COVID-19 assessment centres in Grey County have increased their operating hours.
COVID-19 assessment centres in Grey County are managed by Grey Bruce Health Services, South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Hanover and District Hospital, however, GBHU has been assisting these organizations in increasing their testing capacity.
Beginning the week of Sept. 28, GBHU has conducted an informal survey once a week to gain a better understanding of resident's experience in acquiring a COVID-19 test.
The most recent survey results are based on a sample of 51 people who responded to a survey promoted on social media indicating that they had attempted to receive a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre in Grey Bruce sometime between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18.
The survey showed that 87 per cent of respondents were able to get a COVID test conducted the same or next day.
Eighty-eight per cent of survey respondents also indicated that they received test results within two days – an improvement from the initial Sept. 28 survey, which indicated only 59 per cent of individuals received test results within two days.
GBHU also reports that overall feedback from survey respondents was very positive with a number of comments about the staff at the assessment centres and the efficiency of the service.
Suggested areas for improvement included the desire for a drive-thru testing option and optional follow-up assessment of symptoms in the emergency department.
Arra explains that the purpose of the surveys is to ensure the local health needs of the communities in Grey Bruce, with regards to timely access to COVID-19 swabbing, are met.
“The survey was designed, and has been instrumental in monitoring indicators related to wait times and access to local swabbing, mainly at the assessment centres,” Arra said.
“Monitoring these indicators allowed us to have an evidence-based approach in guiding the efforts of the three hospitals to increase the testing capacity at the assessment centres. The impractical waiting times that we saw in the second half of September have been corrected,” he said.
COVID-19 tests can be booked at the Owen Sound Hospital centre online at gbhs.on.ca or by calling 519-378-1466.
To book a test with SBGHC at the Kincardine Hospital, visit booking.sbghc.on.ca/ or call 226-257-1500.
The Hanover and District Hospital COVID-19 tests can be booked online at hdh.appointlet.com/s/assessment.