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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

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

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

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Crisis Line calls increase

Calls directly related to pandemic up 25 per cent over final two weeks of March

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read