Hamilton residents looking to book COVID-19 test appointments online are out of luck

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Published December 21, 2021 at 7:52 am

Appointments for COVID-19 PCR testing are unavailable in Hamilton currently as the city’s testing capacity has been overrun with demand.

As of Tuesday morning (Dec. 21), there were no appointments available to book online.

“We release any appointments available for booking online as they are identified,” a notice on the City’s booking site said. “Please check back later.”

This is the screen that greets Hamilton residents looking to book a COVID-19 test as of Tuesday (Dec. 21) morning. — staff

At a virtual media update on Monday, Hamilton’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, told reporters that Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) is working to address capacity issues.

A shortage of personnel, Richardson noted, is at the root of not just testing capacity issues but also in the availability of vaccination appointments.

Richardson also urged members of the public to take the time to cancel booked appointments instead of just not showing up to them.

In the meantime, capacity and supply issues plagued Hamilton’s vaccine rollout. On Monday night, the City confirmed that its supply of Pfizer BioNTech mRNA doses is limited as of Tuesday.

Consequently, Pfizer doses will be reserved for people under age 30 until further notice. Individuals over age 30 will be offered the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine when arriving at a vaccine clinic.

Richardson has said the target is to give 8,000 jabs per day in Hamilton. Prior to the arrival of Omicron, the city was averaging about 2,500.

Its highest single-day output since the new measures went into effect was 6,278 last Friday (Dec. 17), with decreases into the 5,000 range over the weekend (5,117 on Saturday, 4,870 on Sunday).

Richardson cautioned Monday, though, that the target is tied to whether the city will have enough staff. The city has job postings for clinical and non-clinical positions.

More information on the City’s COVID-19 response can be found on its website.

— with a file from Nathan Sager

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