Testing for COVID-19 available in West Kootenay, but call first

Interior Health says people suspecting they have the virus must be screened first

Think you may have caught the coronavirus? Call before you go to a doctor, says Interior Health.

Even though COVID-19 test kits are available throughout the West Kootenay, health officials are stressing that only people who meet the required set of criteria should be tested.

“It is not necessary for all people to be tested,” says a statement released Friday by Interior Health. “This is cold and flu season, which is what the vast majority of ill people within our health care region are likely to have.”

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread, many people are asking to be tested for the illness.

Interior Health says if you think you may need to be tested for COVID-19, first call 811 or your local clinic or family doctor where you will be assessed by a series of questions.

To prevent the spread of the illness, health officials are asking people to call first — not show up in person, unless it is an emergency.

If it is an emergency and you need care urgently, call 911.

“It is not necessary to go to the emergency department if you are not acutely ill,” says IH.

SEE: 11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., bringing total to 64

Throughout the region, testing is occurring at a number of community locations. Some physicians and nurse practitioners are able to test in their offices, but patients must call ahead first to discuss appropriate steps.

Testing is done by a simple throat swab.

“Testing is taking place to contain the illness and protect populations who are most at risk of getting sick,” said IH. “That population is primarily elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.”



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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