COVID-19: Island Health sets up referral-only screening clinic in Victoria

COVID-19: Island Health sets up referral-only screening clinic in Victoria
The Associated Press. Photo courtesy of CBC
This microscope image, made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Island Health has set up a COVID-19 referral-only screening clinic in Victoria.

The testing at the clinic will be by appointment only for people who have been referred by their doctor or an 811 nurse.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 (new fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing) is asked to call their primary care provider or HealthLink BC at 811 to be assessed. People living in the Victoria region who are assessed as requiring a follow up will be directed to call the new clinic.

A triage nurse at the clinic will then assess referred patients over the phone to determine if an appointment for a test is needed.

Island Health said it is important for people to not call or go to the screening clinic unless they are referred by a primary care provider or 811 nurse. The location of the clinic has not been publicly announced at this time.

The health region is working on opening up screening clinics in other areas of Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo, Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

Anyone with symptoms is asked to avoid unnecessary visits to emergency departments.

“If you are concerned you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, it is important you call your primary care provider or 811 for an assessment and direction. If you are experiencing an emergency and require immediate medical attention, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department,” Island Health said in a statement.

Island Health said it is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control to continue to respond to COVID-19. As of March 13, 6,326 people have been tested in the province.

And as of March 12, 2020, there was one COVID-19 case in the Island Health region and a total of 53 cases in the province, including one death. Island Health said the risk to British Columbians and people on Vancouver Island remains low.

Read more about the symptoms of COVID-19 here on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.


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