Travelers, workers in need of COVID testing affected by delays, cancellations

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Chang said he made the appointment three weeks ago.

The clinic is one of many in British Columbia to provide a certificate of COVID status to travelers from countries in need, such as Japan. These tests are performed at Life Labs, the only private testing agency in the Department of Health.

The province tested at about half the rate of the Canadian average – 84,719 per million compared to 194,072 per million – and consistently less than Alberta.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said British Columbia’s screening capacity was 10,000 and averaged 6,000 per day. However, testing capacity will double in the fall to 20,000 per day.

Free testing is available for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to the disease and identified by contact tracers.

The pressure of testing has also had an impact on British Columbia’s film industry, with several major productions being halted including Riverdale, Batwoman, Nancy Drew and Charmed. In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Big Sky creator David E. Kelley said “some delays in test results” had led to temporary shutdowns.

Chang said he was still hoping to catch the flight and was heading to Saskatoon to get a doctor’s note. He said it seemed to create more risk for people if they had to fly out of the province to get a rating.

Chang said he would spend 14 days in quarantine and maybe see his wife through the window. When they meet again, he hopes for dinner at home and a night watching a romantic comedy.

There are 1,283 active cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia and 234 people have died. Among these active cases, 72 are hospitalized, including 21 in intensive care. There are 3,202 people under active public health surveillance after potentially being exposed to the disease. So far, 7,591 people ill with COVID have recovered and 234 have died.

As of Wednesday, in Japan, there were 6,428 active cases and 1,561 people died.

– With files from Stephanie Ip

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