Confusion reigns as COVID-19 testing at Ottawa pharmacies begins


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It’s not that easy for Mondoux. He is considering trying another pharmacy, but there is no reason to believe he will get a different result. Meanwhile, more symptomatic, it also does not meet the criteria to be tested at one of the assessment sites in the area.

“It’s chaos,” said an Ottawa pharmacy worker who added that provincial guidelines for who can and cannot be tested in a pharmacy seemed to change overnight, as many people who probably should be tested would not.

“It’s a confusing message we’re getting,” said the worker, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal. “We were told we would not screen people at epidemic sites or people in contact with a positive case.

“And that leaves out the people who work in retail who are in regular contact with the public, such as in grocery stores, bars and restaurants. There are no clear indications of what they are supposed to do. There are people who are going to fall through the cracks, who should probably be tested for the betterment of our population and to track the overall spread of the virus in the community.

“These people will not be part of the network that the Ontario government has decided to strengthen.

Moreover, the possibility increases that, since people find themselves in these gray areas where they do not meet the testing criteria, many lie to authorities to bypass the selection process. “Some of the symptoms are very broad, like headaches or sore throats, which are things that we cannot detect. We can see someone cough, we can see someone sneeze, we can get a fever, but we can’t see a headache.

Meanwhile, Mondoux stays outside and looks inside. “I don’t know where to go or what to do,” he says. “But I have to do my best to be healthy. I try to be safe for the benefit of all. ”

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