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LETTER: COVID-19 testing site puts others at risk

Editor: A COVID-19 testing station for asymptomatic persons is a good idea, as is a decision to locate one for the Bow Valley in Canmore.

Editor:

A COVID-19 testing station for asymptomatic persons is a good idea, as is a decision to locate one for the Bow Valley in Canmore.  

However, its location in the extremely busy Safeway parking lot, right in front of a group of health related facilities, a bank, a Starbucks and other commercial activities is in my view a threat to public health and welfare in general and to business employees in particular. 

I gather that none of the impacted businesses were even advised of the coming of the testing station, let alone consulted about its location.  

Asymptomatic persons can be contagious. Evidence increasingly suggests that infectious droplets can remain in the air for some time, even outside.  

I have attempted to get responses to my concerns from Ridgeview Medical Clinic, which seems to be running the testing station.  

Their response is to say that they need to consult with AHS, public health and the Bow Valley PCN, none of whom have in the last week provided any information.  

I had also tried to contact Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, about my concerns, but have had nothing more that a pro forma acknowledgement by way of reply.   

I have no idea what role, if any, the Town of Canmore may have played in this location decision.

I do gather that Ridgeview Medical Clinic thinks that if the Chief MoH's requirements are followed, then there cannot be a safety problem.  

Dr. Hinshaw's record with the safety of working in meat packing plants does not inspire full confidence in her views of what is and is not safe, I fear.

I would ask you to publish this letter so that first, people who use in the Safeway parking lot, or work in adjacent buildings, are aware of the situation so that they may at least wear masks, and second to stimulate some meaningful response from the powers that be to the concerns that I have raised.

Chris Levy,

Canmore



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