Parents worry Orillia COVID testing is too close to where kids play sports
BARRIE -- A new assessment centre in Orillia has opened up at Rotary Place, and some parents are concerned about the testing taking place in the same building as where their children play sports.
There are two arenas at Rotary Place. One is being used for testing, and the other is being used for hockey and figure skating.
"We did receive some concerns from folks in the community, and I understand that," said Mayor Steve Clarke on Wednesday. "If they don't have the same information I have, they might jump to different conclusions."
Clarke said the location was chosen after consulting public health and hospital medical staff, and all options were considered.
He said several factors had to be considered, including proximity to transit, availability, the timelines the City was facing, whether food was prepared on-site, and traffic around the area.
The assessment centre has its own designated parking area. People who are being tested go in through a side entrance and exit on the same side of the building.
The President and CEO of Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Carmine Stumpo, wants to reassure the community that safety is a top priority. He says space and physical barriers provide ample separation.
"[There are] two separate ice pads, two separate facilities, two separate air handling systems," he said. "So we are very confident that when we segregate physically, we are doing so very effectively."
The Orillia Minor Hockey Association asks parents or guardians who have concerns to direct them to the City's Emergency Management Committee. The mayor says the City will respond to all inquiries on an individual basis.