Loading articles...

B.C. expanding temporary COVID-19 testing locations, hours

Last Updated Aug 19, 2020 at 1:17 pm PDT

FILE - A Fraser Health healthcare worker tests a patient at a drive through COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., Monday, April 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province is responding to a spike in demand for COVID-19 testing

B.C. is adding more temporary testing sites and expanding testing hours

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Following delays and lineups at some COVID-19 testing locations in the Lower Mainland, B.C.’s health minister is hinting more locations and longer hours are on the way.

Adrian Dix said Tuesday the changes are to address the surge in demand.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 testing ramp-up experiencing delays as demand surges

“We’re obviously going to expand capacity to meet demand because we want people to be able to get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19, even the mildest of symptoms.”

Dix said the province is working to expand its capacity to 20,000 tests a day by the fall when the flu season will make diagnosing symptoms even more critical.

“The symptoms of cold and flu often mimic those of COVID-19, so we’re expecting and we’ll need more capacity for testing.”

Currently, the province’s capacity is about 8,000 tests a day, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that many people are being tested daily.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health has opened a new COVID-19 assessment centre on East 7th Avenue.

Another centre is expected to open in North Vancouver in the coming weeks, while operating hours in Richmond will be increased.