Northern Health Thinking About Rapid Test Unit Options

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Northern Health President and CEO Cathy Ullrich said rapid coronavirus testing is not available in British Columbia.

However, she mentioned that work is underway on what it might look like in the province.

Cathy Ullrich (photo provided by Northern Health)

Ullrich said Vista Radio that right now they are limited to where test samples can be sent.

“There are capacities in other places in the Lower Mainland and in Kelowna. The Fraser Health region in the north did not have this capability, we have always depended on the virology laboratory at the BC Center for Disease Control. “

“However, we should have this service in the north soon. “

Ullrich added that he is working with provincial laboratory services and the BC Center for Disease Control to obtain this service in the North.

Currently, there are 21 cases of COVID-19 in Northern Health and four new cases were announced today (Friday) by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health worker.

Four of them are currently hospitalized.

In addition, more than 850 tests have been performed within Northern Health for the coronavirus.

BCCDC website says people with respiratory symptoms who reside in long-term care homes, healthcare workers, anyone in the hospital or participating in an investigation or epidemic should be tested for the virus. .

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Raina Fumerton admits the test system is far from perfect.

Dr. Raina Fumerton (Photo provided by Northern Health)

“In terms of the untested population, most people who get this infection right now will not undergo laboratory testing to confirm that, and that is why we have to assume that this virus is circulating in all of our communities right now and we need to take the appropriate action. “

“What we do know about mild illness is that after ten days from the onset of your symptoms, you are no longer transmissible and therefore we ask people who have developed respiratory symptoms to assume that it this is the coronavirus and self-isolate for 10 days accordingly. At the end of the ten days, if they feel better and are no longer feverish, they can withdraw from self-isolation and there will be no laboratory data for these people. “

She adds that another type of test is being developed.

“They are working very hard at the BC Center for Disease Control on blood tests to detect antibody levels so that we know if people have already been exposed to the virus and if they are immune.”



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