B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government)

B.C. COVID-19 tests up to 3,500 a day, care home staffing to change

Massage therapists, chiropractors told to treat urgent cases only

The LifeLabs group of medical laboratories has joined B.C. health authority facilities in ramping up testing for the COVID-19 to 3,500 a day as positive tests continued to rise to 617 as of March 24.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the new capacity allows the B.C. Centre for Disease Control to continue “aggressively test health care workers,” and investigate community infections and surveillance testing, such as adding COVID-19 to routine influenza testing.

Henry announced new staffing rules for long-term care homes after testing turned up one infected staff member at Little Mountain Place in Vancouver and one resident at Evergreen Heights in White Rock in the past two days.

With daily testing in place for care home employees, staff are to be assigned to one facility only by the end of the week, Henry said. At Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, where 42 residents and 21 staff have been infected and 10 residents have died, “the outbreak had been going on for some time before we got a handle on it,” she said. Cases also showed up at Lions Gate Hospital as infected employees worked at more than one location.

Subsequent positive tests at Delta View in Ladner, Dufferin in Coquitlam and the German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver have been limited to a single case, and Hollyburn House in West Vancouver has been limited to one infected staff member and one resident, Henry said.

RELATED: 28% of B.C. coronavirus cases have now recovered

RELATED: B.C. dental conference attendees warned of exposure

Testing continues in the wake of the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver in early March. Henry said the conference has turned out to be “a major source” of COVID-19 infections, with 32 people identified so far after investigations of participants and their close contacts.

The death of one North Vancouver dentist may be connected to the pandemic and the case has been turned over to the B.C. Coroners Service. Vancouver Coastal Health initially told dentists and other staff who went to the conference to self-isolate only if they noticed symptoms.

Henry said she has written to all of B.C.’s professional colleges, including massage therapists and chiropractors, giving them the same instruction as the College of Dental Services to restrict their service to urgent cases only.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Couple home safe after COVID-19 lockdown in Peru

Cortney Pitts and Maxime Patenaude “won the lottery” to get to come home from Peru.

Back in print

We are pleased to announce that the April 9 issue of the Pioneer will be available in print.

Foodbanking in the time of COVID-19

Local food bank needs are high, but Lawrie Mack said: “there is hope to counter the gloom.”

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read