Not all sick people require COVID-19 tests, B.C.’s top doctor says

Nine more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. announced Saturday, bringing total to 73

With seven new COVID-19 cases announced Saturday related to an outbreak at a North Vancouver care home, B.C.’s top doctor suspects there may be more confirmed cases in the coming days.

As of Saturday, there were 73 confirmed cases of which six have recovered, two are in hospital and one – a man in his 80s with a number of underlying health issues – has died. The rest are under quarantine where they will remain until they produce two negative tests within 24 hours.

B.C. health officials said there were a total of nine new cases of the novel coronavirus in the province since Friday. In addition to those linked to the North Vancouver outbreak, one case was identified within the Fraser Health Authority and a second presumptive case within the Interior Health Authority.

But provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also tried to tide concerns that people who feel under the weather – including those who have travelled overseas – don’t necessarily need to be tested for the novel coronavirus.

“Even if you have mild symptoms, or if you have no symptoms and you have returned from travel, you don’t need testing,” she told reporters during a Saturday news briefing. “We want to make sure that people with no symptoms understand they don’t need to be tested for COVID-19.”

READ MORE: Return home while you can, Ottawa tells Canadians travelling abroad

She added that testing protocols will be focused on health care staff, those in long-term care homes and those linked to the existing outbreaks in North Vancouver. People who show serious symptoms, which include lung infections and extreme coughing, will also be tested after calling HealthLink BC at 811.

The province has tested more than 6,000 people, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, with 4,000 of those tests in the last few days. As people await their lab results, which can take two or more days, they are told to self-isolate. Those who travel outside of Canada, including to the U.S., will be asked to stay away from work, school and other public places for 14 days upon their return.

Two of the confirmed cases previously announced as being linked to the Vancouver Coastal Health authority are actually residents within the Northern Health Authority. They had travelled overseas, landing in the Lower Mainland where they were screened and tested positive, Henry said, adding their conditions were mild. Since then, they have driven home where they remain in self-isolation.

This means that every health authority in British Columbia has at least one confirmed COVID-19 case.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that testing centres will be opening across the province, but the exact locations will be announced by individual health authorities in the coming days.

“When these centres are open, they’re not for people to go to,” said Dix, asking that people not flock to these locations unnecessarily.


@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

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows issue fire bans

Cities say poor air quality from smoke could further exacerbate current COVID-19 climate

VIDEO: RCMP bring 7 p.m. parade to front doors of Ridge Meadows Hospital

Cruisers with lights and sirens blaring give boost to those working within

WEATHER: Mainly cloudy with a chance of showers

Temperatures to reach a high of 11 C

Intergenerational Garden in Maple Ridge open for another year

All food will be donated to the Friends In Need Food Bank

Front line workers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows calling out for supplies

Doctors and specialists say they are in desperate need

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read