A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

British Columbians who test negative for COVID-19 waiting up to 4 days for results

Dr. Bonnie Henry said public health officials are working to streamline the lab process

As B.C. sets a new testing records in its battle against COVID-19, the province’s top doctor says that those who are found to be negative of the novel coronavirus are waiting as long as four days to receive their results.

Eighty-two people tested positive for COVID-19 between Wednesday (Sept. 30) and Thursday afternoon, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed to reporters during a news conference.

In that same time period, a record-breaking 10,899 tests were conducted – an incredible feat, Henry said.

“I know there have been some challenges in some places, but this really speaks to the amazing work that people are doing across the province to make sure that we can get people to testing they need as quickly as possible.”

However, the ramping up in testing has caused notification delays up to four days for those who are found to be negative for the disease because of how many labratories are involved in the testing process.

WATCH: New COVID-19 testing machine takes load off B.C.’s virologists and labs

“What I am confident in is when a positive test comes up we are on that very quickly, within 24 hours, and the person is identified, Henry said, “This is something that we’ve been following for some time.”

Provincial health authorities are working to better streamline the process for negative test results, Henry added.

In early September, the province announced it would be hiring roughly 600 more contact tracers to join the hundreds of others across B.C. already helping track down those linked to known test-positive cases.

Henry said those public health teams have been identifying every case quickly after someone is confirmed to be infected.

“I am confident that it is working and working well.”

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


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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