The Quebec health ministry on Wednesday announced that improvements would be carried out to “considerably increase” the capacity of walk-in COVID-19 testing clinics in Montreal.
As of Thursday, it will be possible to conduct more than 1,000 additional tests in the clinics, which function without appointments and are open seven days a week.
In a communiqué issued Wednesday evening, the ministry said the increased capacity would be “possible thanks to the establishment of two new testing clinics — the Outremont clinic and the Louvain mobile site — as well as the extension of the hours of clinics already in operation.”
Travelling through Rivière-du-Loup earlier in the day, Premier François Legault made it clear he was unhappy with the waiting times for testing in Montreal and promised that the health ministry would address the issue.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also complained that citizens were obliged to wait four to five hours outdoors in order to have access to a test. The delays have been due in part to a spike in the number of people seeking tests after public health officials, citing outbreaks at several bars, urged anyone who had been in a bar in the city since July 1 to be tested.
Extra personnel will be assigned to all Montreal clinics, the ministry said, adding that testing capacity will also be increased outside Montreal if necessary.