A look inside a COVID-19 testing clinic on Montreal’s West Island

From the moment you arrive at the Beaconsfield testing clinic, you are guided through every step.

Staff will greet you at the door, hand you a mask and inform you how you’ll be tested for COVID-19.

After waiting for your turn, you’ll be greeted by employees who will register you and assign you a testing kit.

When it’s your turn, you’ll be escorted into the hot zone.

“Some of them are nervous because they know we have to put a swab in the nose and quite deep,” said Caroline Bertincourt, a clinical nurse. “They know it’s not pleasant, so they are a bit worried. But it takes only 10 seconds, so it’s very quick.”

The clinic tries to minimize the number of things patients touch as much as possible.

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When a hand sanitizer is used, it’s immediately wiped down.

Staff also use green and red door tags to let cleaning crews know if a room is dirty.

“As soon as a patient is tested, the sign is turned to red, saying the cleaning crew needs to clean that area. Once it’s clean, they clean that sign itself and then they turn it to green, so that the nurse knows a new patient can sit in that area,” said Candice Denoncourt, unit manager of designated COVID-19 clinics.

After your test is completed, its sent to the Glen site at the MUHC for analysis.

Once the results are in, it’s faxed back to the Beaconsfield site and staff will call patients with their results within 24 hours.

Last week, the Quebec government announced its goal of testing 14,000 people a day.

On Friday, public-health authorities said they would be stepping up their efforts to slow the spread in Montreal.

The Beaconsfield clinic has the ability to administer over 300 tests a day.

“We have enough staff that we can go with the demand, so if the demand increases, we can more than fill those spots,” said Denoncourt.

Local health officials say, to date, the clinic has completed more than 5,600 tests.

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