The second wave is finally here! Just when 2020 could not get any better! Sarcasm aside, the number of cases, especially in Ottawa, are beginning to rapidly rise again. This has caused for the closure of the city back to stage 2 for 28 days (ugh). What is concerning is that the number of cases are reaching higher numbers than the first wave, so it is important to continue following public health guidelines.
Due to the pandemic, school has been moved to online learning. This has stopped the majority of interactions amongst students especially being that college students are the age group with the most cases. If you decided to move out, maybe you had to miss out on thanksgiving this year. However, for a lot of universities, reading week is approaching which is a prime time for students to head home to see friends and family.
When you decided to move out, technically you broke the bubble with your family and friends (especially if you live with roommates). Although you may see a friend or two occasionally, so do your roommates, so it is very easy for the virus to spread amongst the people in your house and their friends. Returning home means you also pose the risk of exposing your family to the virus. I did not think that I had COVID-19, however, I know in a lot of cases people are asymptomatic and can spread the virus unknowingly.
I decided to go home for thanksgiving for the sake of a hot meal with my family that was not macaroni and cheese. My brother being diabetic holds him at a higher risk of being severely affected by the virus and both my parents are older people. I felt that it was only right that I get tested before I rejoin the bubble for a few weeks.
Luckily, the University of Ottawa has an Assessment Centre at the Lee’s campus. What is great about this centre is it is only offered to uOttawa staff and students and it is appointment based (sounds annoying but saves so much time).
To get tested, you head to the Assessment Centre website. At the bottom you will see a link that says Book your appointment now. From that link it will lead you to a Microsoft page. Here you enter your school email and password like you are logging into Brightspace. The page will allow you to only book 72 hours in advance so plan accordingly. From there you pick your timeslot and enter your student ID and the appointment is booked! So easy!
Once you get to the test centre there is no need to wait in line because your appointment is already made and the person at the door will tell you when you can come in (I waited less than 5 minutes outside). From there you enter the gym where there is three stations. The first station requires general information like your name, birthday, address, email etc. It is also important that you do not forget your health card as they will ask for it. The second station confirms the information you gave and asks the screening questions most people are asked. Lastly, a nurse takes you behind a cubicle and does the infamous swab in your nose.
There is no reason why you should not get tested with cases rising. The entire process took about 15 minutes (add an extra 40 minutes because I decided to walk from my house near the university). The test itself is not the best feeling, however, 10 seconds (exactly) of uncomfortable swabbing means saving tons of people from potentially being infected. The entire process is so easy, and I got my results the same week which meant I was able to board my train back home!
Remember to stay safe and get tested!