Heathcare"It's hellish" ... More than three hours of waiting...

“It’s hellish” … More than three hours of waiting for parents and children already at their end

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A week that starts well. Half an hour after his son dropped off at school, Frédéric was called by the director of the establishment, telling him that a positive Covid-19 case had been diagnosed in Yann’s class. Like thousands of parents, Frédéric looked for a way to have his boy tested in order to allow him to return to school as permitted by the new protocol. After trying his luck in pharmacies around Montauban-de-Bretagne (Ille-et-Vilaine), the dad went to the Rennes screening center, which opened this Monday morning forty kilometers from his home. Results ? It took him nearly three and forty-five hours for him and his son to get tickled on the back of his nose.

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“I did not expect to have such an expectation! It’s pure madness, ”slips the dad. It is almost 3 p.m. when he leaves the Halle du Triangle, a cultural facility where the city of Rennes has just opened a Covid-19 screening center. He and his son did not eat anything. “The day is ruined,” he slips.

His case is far from isolated. Since the emergency opening of this center reserved primarily for school children, the queue has only swelled. “It’s hellish what we make kids experience. My grandson is three and a half years old. He has not eaten or slept for three hours and still has not passed by. It’s rubbish, ”sums up Nicole, coming to bring some cakes and water to her son. In the small boxes, a dozen Civil Protection agents are busy testing the dozens and dozens of families who wisely waited in single file. Every now and then a child’s crying echoes in the ears of overwhelmed rescuers. Some struggle, scream, in front of their parents already jaded to have waited three hours for a test of 30 seconds. “We suspected that we would have people, but not at this point. We will be forced to stop, otherwise we will never be able to close, ”recognizes Patrick Brigaudeau, Civil Protection referent.

“Come back tomorrow sir”

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This daddy is sent home. “Come back tomorrow (Tuesday) early in the morning,” advises an agent to the frustrated parent, without a solution. ” This is madness. We are all prisoners of this situation, ”laments the father. His daughter Manon seems delighted to escape the test, obviously in no hurry to go back to school. Not his big brother. Enrolled in high school, he made contact for the second time in four days. “I would like to be tested quickly because I saw my grandparents yesterday”, slips the teenager before going to try his luck in the immense pharmacy of the Alma shopping center. “The last time I was taken in thirty minutes. “

Children and their parents wait for an antigenic test for Covid-19 here at the screening center in Rennes, in January 2022. – C. Allain / 20 Minutes

This Monday for the opening of the Triangle screening center, 500 tests were scheduled. The enormous influx pushed the teams to do much more, going so far as to cause a stock shortage of the information sheets filled out by distraught families. “This is the first day, we are going to arm ourselves”, assures Civil Protection. Opened in haste by the city with the agreement of the regional health agency, the center was to meet the exponential demand of parents faced with the explosion of positive cases in the school environment. And whose protocol imposes several tests before returning to class. “To subject the kids to that, it’s shameful,” slips a mother, quite annoyed by the three hour wait. In the queue, many are calling for testing campaigns in schools. “It would still be easier for everyone”.

Scheduled to remain open for two weeks, the Triangle screening center should be duplicated in other large French cities at the request of the municipalities. In the mouths of many crossed parents on Monday, the question was the same: how long will they last?

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Janice
Janice Thomas is a content editor at 24 News Recorder. She has 5 years of journalism experience and she he is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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