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This article was published 30/10/2020 (352 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The newest Dynacare "super centre" will open its doors to the public Monday, with the goal of serving at least 300 patients per day.
Dynacare, which currently owns all facilities in Winnipeg that provide blood collection and urinalysis services outside of hospital-based laboratories, has altered the interior design of its new 3-1581 Regent Ave. W. location so those waiting can maintain social distancing.
"COVID hit, and of course everything changed, because we didn’t have waiting rooms for them, we had to put social distancing in place… It’s far more customer-focused," Dynacare chief scientific officer and Manitoba operations manager Dr. Jenisa Naidoo said Friday.
Some 20 chairs are spaced around the waiting room, with clear plastic barriers between them. The layout includes six separated cubicles for taking tests, a room with a bed in the back for those who feel faint (or require clothing to be removed to get blood taken), and a staff room. Operating hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon.
Ideally, lineups that have resulted in people being turned away at nearby locations — there is another Dynacare centre on Regent Avenue West, one on Rothesay Street and one on Marion Street — will be alleviated. If those locations get too busy, staff will recommend patients come to the new centre.
"We can’t control how many people come in at seven in the morning, so this is to try and accommodate that whole group that comes in," Naidoo said. "There are days you will come and see there is no one in the waiting room."
Naidoo said she’s not expecting any outdoor lineups, similar to the ones at Dynacare centres over the summer.
In July, the Free Press reported wait times had jumped, resulting in some left to wait in sweltering heat.
As it gets colder, Naidoo said, making sure no one is waiting outdoors is a priority.
"The important thing is that the patients actually have space to come to, because we don’t want them standing outside — it’s quite slippery today, for example — and we want them to be seen as quickly as possible in this facility," she said.
There are 31 Dynacare locations and five super centres in the province, including pop-up sites. Fourteen locations have been closed, unable to meet social-distancing requirements.
A sixth super centre is set to open on Henderson Highway in November; a seventh on Pembina Highway in early 2021.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.