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Friday , 25 September 2020

Melvin hopes essential workers will get tested quicker as province opens up COVID-19 testing

Bonnyville’s Director of Emergency Management Jay Melvin has raised concerns with the province on issues around COVID-19 testing and handling more tests.

Melvin was asked during a press conference on Wednesday whether there will be greater demand for testing equipment locally with the opportunity now for anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

“We have raised some concerns. The first one based on that is, are our essential workers going to get moved up in the queue to get tested quicker so they can get back to work and provide the service to the remainder of the population” said Melvin.

“We know that was happening prior to, we believe that’s still happening. We’re waiting for the official word.

“We have heard of discussions that are happening and within our region for assessment centers. And that’s a possibility to offload some of the workload locally here. But we’re still waiting for official announcements on those moving forward,” he said.

It’s a good thing more people are getting tested, said Melvin, to see if there has been community transmission of the virus.

There has not been a new confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Lakeland for several days and as of Thursday morning, there were two active cases in Bonnyville and no active cases in the surrounding communities.

However, Melvin does see some concerns with allergy season approaching and people showing similar symptoms with novel coronavirus.

“A lot of those symptoms that people get are very similar, and we’ll now have to go down that screening process to determine if it’s actually allergies or it’s COVID positive?

“We’re asking the questions so we can try to prepare. We do have those discussions with the health center and our public health officials just to ensure that we got a pulse on the community.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.