LONG SAULT, Ontario – The Pharmasave in Long Sault will be one of the first pharmacies in the region to offer testing for those who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, but who are showing no symptoms (asymptomatic).
At the end of September, the Ontario government began to allow pharmacies to test for COVID-19 in patients who are asymptomatic.
Only pharmacies in Toronto, Ottawa, and their surrounding areas were included in the first expansion of testing. Prior to this expansion, testing was only available at COVID-19 assessment centres setup and run by local Health Units.
Starting on Tuesday, Oct. 27 the Long Sault Pharmasave will begin testing asymptomatic patients.
Those who are eligible for asymptomatic testing at a pharmacy include caregivers, residents, care providers or other employees of long-term care facilities, or retirement residences, community living, or other congregate care settings, with the exception of schools. A visitor to a long-term care facility, homeless or women’s shelter employees, farm workers, those who identify as Indigenous or those who require a COVID-19 test for travel are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 test at the Long Sault Pharmasave.
Individuals who may have the COVID-19 virus, but are not showing symptoms, are still contagious and it is important that they are tested so that they can self-isolate and not spread the disease, and so that their contacts can be traced and tested, again to slow the spread of the pandemic.
The Long Sault Pharmasave has setup a separate testing area in the back of their store for the safety of staff, patients, and customers alike.
“Some are concerned about people walking in with symptoms, which is why we are by appointment only and are using a separate exam room at the back of the building,” said Bryan Haley, Pharmacist and Owner at Long Sault Pharmasave.
The testing area is cleaned with peroxide after each individual is tested, and with acidic bleach at the end of each testing day.
Those interested or are in need of a COVID-19 test and are asymptomatic are asked to book an appointment online through Pharmasave. Patients with an appointment are asked to attend the back of the building and call the number listed on the back door three minutes prior to their appointment.