Island Health has opened a referral only testing clinic in Victoria to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

Vancouver Island’s first COVID-19 testing clinic opens in Victoria, more planned for up-Island

Facility will be open only to those referred there by their primary care provider or an 811 nurse

Island Health has opened a referral-only COVID-19 screening clinic in Victoria to help support testing people for the virus.

And more are expected to open soon in a handful of other Vancouver Island communities.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, testing at these clinics will occur by appointment only for people who have been referred by their primary care provider or an 8-1-1 nurse.

Island Health asks if you feel you are experiencing symptoms such as a new fever, dry cough or difficulty breathing, you’re asked to contact your primary care provider or call HealthLink BC at 811 to be assessed.

READ ALSO: ‘I feel like I’m in a movie’: Victoria woman shares quarantine experience after cruise ship coronavirus outbreak

Effective immediately, people living in Greater Victoria who are assessed as requiring 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 testing is needed.

“It is important that people do not call or attend the screening clinic unless referred by a primary care provider or an 811 nurser,” reads a statement from Island Health.

READ ALSO: Here’s what’s cancelled in Greater Victoria due to coronavirus pandemic

According to the statement, Island Health is actively working to open COVID-19 referral-only screening clinics in other regions of the Island including Nanaimo, Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

Island Health is also reminding the public to avoid unnecessary visits to emergency departments. If you’re 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 first for assessment and direction. If you are experiencing an emergency and require immediate medical attention, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

According to Island Health, the risk to British Columbians and Vancouver Island residents remains low despite a number of confirmed cases in the province. The province identified 11 new cases as of Friday, for a total of 64.

For the most accurate and current updates visit bccdc.ca. People are encouraged to check back regularly.

To read more about the coronavirus visit vicnews.com/tag/coronavirus.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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