A temporary outdoor medical facility in McLaren Park Arena in Penticton is now equipped to accommodate COVID-19 screening and testing.
The SOS Division of Family Practice is currently operating the centre at the arena, where family physicians and nurse practitioners provide by-appointment primary care to local patients. Until now, it had simply been an assessment centre aimed at dealing with patients' immediate health concerns.
But to be prepared for changing circumstances, testing will now take place, starting "soon," according to the association.
The service will be operated by Interior Health. Currently, they operate testing out of the Penticton Health Centre.
All appointments at McLaren Arena, whether for primary care or for eventual testing, are by referral only, and will be spaced out over the course of the day to allow for proper social distancing protocols.
Signage at the site will guide patients to their appropriate care.
No drop-in or walk-in services are provided at this site.
There is no increased risk to nearby residents, as the site allows for all the safety protocols and social distancing measures set out by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The SOS Division of Family Practice said the use of this outdoor location allows for the most efficient use of personal protective equipment, creates a safer environment for healthcare workers and patients, and helps the community work together to reduce potential spread of COVID-19.
Patients needing a primary care appointment should continue to call their family medicine clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic.
“We’d like patients to know that family doctors and nurse practitioners have created this variety of safe environments so that all patients can continue to receive care,” said Dr. Greg Selinger.
“We’re still available to you. If you have a health concern, please call your clinic, walk-in or after hours clinic.”
Information about the location and hours of operation can be found here.