As the number of visitors continues to rise, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is going over its options for the COVID-19 assessment centre.

CEO Lori Marshall says with increasing demand and cooler weather, it’s not ideal to have residents waiting in line outside the Emma Street facility.

“We’re pretty close to announcing moving to another location that would give us more parking, more space, more room inside potentially for people to wait, then of course the ability, if it’s required, to increase the amount of care and services being provided.”

Marshall says having a new testing clinic at Shoppers Drug Mart on St Clair Street in Chatham takes some of the pressure off the assessment centre when it comes to asymptomatic residents.

“We have really only had our one site,” Marshall explains. “I was out there yesterday, chatting with some folks who were waiting a long time in line, and we’re definitely seeing the demand go up.

In the past few weeks, the number of people visiting the assessment centre have doubled from around 100 a day to more than 200, due in part to the return to school and those looking to visit family in long term care facilities.

The new clinic is run entirely through Shoppers Drug Mart, not public health or the hospital, so all appointments need to be booked through the drug store itself.