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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

PLACE NAMES: Kootenay, the post offices and ships

A CPR sternwheeler and two navy destroyers took the name Kootenay

West Kootenay octogenarian helping develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Peter Brockley is working with his doctor son, Graham, to develop the unit that could save lives

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read