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

Schools get creative to provide food to students

Initiatives underway include providing gift cards

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

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

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

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

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read