THUNDER BAY — Even before it officially opened, the new booking arrangement for COVID-19 tests in Thunder Bay received an overwhelming response.
It was only announced on Friday that the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was taking over the responsibility for scheduling tests.
The task was previously the responsibility of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Friday's announcement advised residents to dial the special booking number starting Monday.
However, according to the hospital, approximately 2,000 calls came in over the weekend, before the system was operational.
"Currently, we are dealing with higher call volumes than expected," a spokesperson said in a prepared statement Monday afternoon.
The statement indicated the hospital is addressing all calls as quickly as possible to ensure people who need to be tested are scheduled for appointments in timely manner.
Residents are asked to dial (807) 935-8100 Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Callers will be greeted with an automated message and menu options, which will connect them to staff at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
Later this week, the TBRHSC is expected to offer online booking options to streamline the process.
The spokesperson said the hospital appreciates the community's patience during this period of transition.