Clinic to Operate as Drive-Through Test Site

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health received approval from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to operate a mobile testing clinic for COVID-19 in Akwesasne. This is one of the first mobile testing clinics operated by an Indigenous public health body in Canada and will operate as a drive-through site with appointments scheduled by our Community Health Program (CHP).

“Investing in a mobile testing unit is a strategic move to help address the geographic challenges that are unique to Akwesasne,” said Cindy Francis-Mitchell, Assistant Director of Health. “I’m proud of the work being done by the team here with MCA’s Department of Health to simultaneously maintain essential services for the community while launching a new clinic under constantly evolving guidelines and directives.”

Kawehno:ke District Chief Vanessa Adams also noted, “We would like to thank the Department of Health for taking this approach to provide these important services to the community. We appreciate the efforts of our essential health workers during this trying time.”

The MCA Community Health Program has been actively screening for COVID-19 symptoms and answering questions from Akwesasronon. The Community Health Nurses also update the MCA’s COVID-19 screening tools based on the guidelines being released by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

The mobile testing unit will be used by the Community Health Program in the future to offer mobile clinics (e.g. immunization clinics) and outreach to the community.

Testing is limited to community members who reside in the northern portion of Akwesasne who hold a Quebec or Ontario Health Card and an Akwesasne Status Card. At this time, MCA does not have a data health sharing agreement in place with Franklin County Public Health and are unable to do the follow-up required (e.g. contact tracing) for those who reside in the southern portion of Akwesasne.

Please call the Community Health Program at 613-575-2341 ext. 3220 if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including:
• Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or 100.04°F); OR
• Any new or worsening symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory or taste disorder(s), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain); OR
• Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia.

Those who call in will speak to an MCA Community Health Nurse to determine if you meet the criteria for testing. If you meet the criteria for testing you will be given an appointment location, date and time. We ask that individuals arrive promptly for their appointment as not to disrupt the scheduled times.

When you come to your appointment you will be required to provide your:
• Quebec or Ontario Health Card; AND
• Akwesasne Status Card, or other government issued photo-ID.

There will be signs directing traffic into the mobile testing location. When you stop in front of the mobile testing clinic, remain in your vehicle with the windows closed and call the posted number to let the nursing team know you have arrived. A nurse will come to you to administer the test.

Community Health Nurses will monitor all individuals that are tested and will conduct required follow-ups, if needed.

When an individual does not meet the criteria for testing, they may still be monitored by the Community Health Nurses.

Chief Adams, who is a member of the Department of Health portfolio, added, “Please be reminded that the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is by practicing physical distancing. We encourage community members to stay home, unless you need to make an essential trip. Let’s continue to do our part to flatten the curve and ensure the safety of all Akwesasronon.”

If you have any questions about COVID-19, contact the MCA Community Health Program from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at 613-575-2341 ext. 3220.


Watch the video below to hear from Kawehno:ke District Chief Vanessa Adams and Community Health Nurse Delia McDonald they discuss the testing criteria and procedures for MCA’s mobile testing clinic that will operate as a drive-through site.