A nurse holds swabs and a test tube kit to test people for COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the new coronavirus, at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., Monday, March 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

B.C. adapts testing strategy for COVID-19

Province received shipment of masks, COVID-19 swabs on Tuesday

As the World Health Organization directs countries to “test, test, test every suspected case” of the novel coronavirus, B.C. will continue to upkeep its supply, the province says.

Slightly more than 6,300 people have been swabbed for the disease in B.C., as of March 13, and more than 34,000 people have been tested nationwide.

So far, 186 British Columbians have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Seven of those people have died, with six of those deaths linked to an outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Home in North Vancouver and another man, in his 80s, from the Fraser Health region.

Six people have recovered.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said during a daily health briefing on Tuesday, March 17, that the province has received a new shipment of COVID-19 swabs used to test for the virus, as well as more masks to protect health care workers on the front lines.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the big spike in positive COVID-19 cases in just one days time was a matter of the labs catching up to the number of swaps needing to be tested.

B.C. has transitioned its testing strategy to targeting clusters and outbreaks, as well as those seeing the most adverse symptoms.

In a statement, Provincial Health Authority Service people with mild symptoms who can recover on their own at home don’t need testing because the medical care and advice is the same regardless of whether they test positive or not.

In the event of shortages, health officials said there are other types of swabs available, such as those used for sexually transmitting infection testing, that might be used to test for COVID-19.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smithers single family home sales up in first quarter of 2020

Real Estate board predicts decline in second quarter due to COVID-19

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Bus services taking extra measures because of COVID-19

More cleaning and more disinfecting underway

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

B.C.’s latest employment figures for March show 7.2% increase

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

People needing addictions services feel ‘abandoned’ during pandemic, B.C.’s ex-top doctor says

Widespread job losses and more homelessness due to physical distancing at shelters have added hurdles

Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%: StatCan

Unemployment rate hits levels not seen since 2010

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

Most Read