Published on : Monday, August 3, 2020
A new temporary COVID-19 assessment centre for hospitality and tourism staff is all set to open on Wednesday, August 5 at the parking lot of the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. The testing centre has been specifically made for tourism workers only and will not be available to the general public.
However, the regular assessment centre behind the Greater Niagara General Hospital will continue to be available to the public by walk in or appointment.Niagara Falls Tourism authorities have been reaching out to local employers to coordinate the testing times and dates for employees of the tourism sector.
The centre would become a huge source of help for the nearly 40,000 residents who work in the tourism industry in Niagara. Ever since the announcement of Niagara entering Stage 2, and being at stage 3 at present, Niagara Falls and other popular tourist spots in the region have witnessed massive amounts of tourists over the past few weeks. Moreover, high volumes of patients coming for testing has caused a spike in wait times at current assessment centres, sometimes lasting up to two hours.
On the Monday following Niagara’s first weekend in Stage 3, Niagara Health’s Assessment Centres saw more than 550 patients, including 300 walk-ins. Derek McNally, Executive Vice-President Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive said in a statement that hospitality and tourism sector employs thousands of people in the region. He mentioned that opening an assessment centre specially dedicated to testing tourism workers will help prevent overcrowding and reduce wait times for the public at the existing centres.