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

Schools get creative to provide food to students

Initiatives underway include providing gift cards

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read