Connect with us

Health

Concerns raised about COVID-19 testing delays in Interior Health – Globalnews.ca

Published

on


A Penticton, B.C., man is raising concerns about delays in COVID-19 testing in the South Okanagan city and how it could contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Colin MacDermott, a hotel employee, fell ill on Friday, July 17, and immediately contacted 8-1-1.

“Got a major headache, sore throat, and had alittle bit of a temperature,” he said of his flu-like symptoms that he experienced at the time.

The 43-year-old was referred to the Penticton Health Centre, but when he contacted the local health unit, he was informed the next available appointment to get a test was on Wednesday.

MacDermott stayed home and self-isolated for four days before getting tested and now must wait another one to three days for the test result.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Test turnaround times at Interior Health slightly above provincial average

Story continues below advertisement

He fears the approximately one-week lagtime between getting sick and obtaining his test result could contribute to the spread of the virus if he, in fact, tests positive.

“I do have two or three people that I see relatively regularly and they are asking me ‘do I need to go get tested’? And I say ‘I’ll let you know as soon as I know.”

MacDermott is also off work, without pay, and hopes he will be eligible for the $1,000 B.C. Emergency Benefit available to residents who stopped working because of COVID-19.






2:07
Should the Kelowna outbreak be considered a ‘superspreader’ event?


Should the Kelowna outbreak be considered a ‘superspreader’ event?

“I realize I am in a privileged position. I don’t live paycheque to paycheque, so I’m not hurting badly financially,” he said.

“But I know some of my co-workers, if they went through the same situation, they wouldn’t be able to pay rent and buy groceries if they had to miss a whole week because they got a cold.

Story continues below advertisement

He said he doesn’t fault the hard-working healthcare workers, but thinks the system could be improved.

“My question is, does Interior Health need to be putting more resources towards testing now that we are over the first bump? But things are ramping up again, it appears,” he said.

Read more:
‘Don’t come here to make new friends’: Kelowna, B.C., mayor on spike in COVID-19 cases

The Interior Health Authority (IHA) says the cluster of cases in Kelowna has “dramatically increased” demand on testing in the Okanagan.

There are now 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to community exposure in the Kelowna area which began around Canada Day. Many of the patients were visitors to the region and are people in their 20s and 30s, health officials said.

In Kelowna, Interior Health is doing five times the number of tests per week (1,500/week compared to 300 before the most recent case cluster), the health authority said in an email.






2:43
More than 60 COVID-19 cases linked to Kelowna area exposures


More than 60 COVID-19 cases linked to Kelowna area exposures

In Penticton, the number of tests per week has more than doubled (180/week compared to 80 previously).

Story continues below advertisement

Interior Health has increased staffing at the collection centre in Kelowna and moved from being open for four hours of testing per day to 11 hours of testing per day (9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily).

The Penticton centre is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. six days per week and is “actively working to increase their capacity in response to the current surge,” Interior Health said.

“Patients who call to book a test are provided with the earliest time possible, in many cases, it is the same day,” said IHA.

Read more:
Young adults given new warnings as coronavirus cases spike across Canada

“Where the wait is longer due to the demand for testing, IH is implementing strategies to increase capacity,” he said.

Since mid-June, test turn-around times are the longest in Interior Health compared to any other health region in B.C., according to data collected by the BC Centre for Disease Control.

As of July 20, it takes 35 hours to get lab results in Interior Health, compared to 20 hours in Vancouver Coastal, 18 hours in both Fraser and Northern Health and 16 hours on Vancouver Island.






1:45
Kelowna mayor fears step backwards from COVID-19 cases


Kelowna mayor fears step backwards from COVID-19 cases

The provincial average is 22 hours.

Story continues below advertisement

Interior Health confirms all Okanagan tests are being analyzed at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH).

“We have testing that is done here in Kelowna as well as the provincial lab in Vancouver and so we strive to have test results back as soon as possible,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, interim chief medical health officer at Interior Health.

“The minimum time we can expect test results is 24 hours and sometimes it can take a little bit longer,” she added.

Norm Letnick, Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MLA and opposition health critic, says while he is encouraged about the expansion of testing to meet demand in IHA, he will be raising concerns with his counterpart, B.C.’s minister of health Adrian Dix, in regards to testing delays in smaller communities like Penticton.

“You can be sure that on behalf of the people of Penticton and all of British Columbia, I will be talking to him about COVID-19 and the response that his ministry has had towards addressing issues like testing and turnaround time,” he told Global News.

Interior Health says it is difficult to compare IH’s lab analysis time to other health authorities given its large geographic area serving many rural and remote communities.

“We recognize there are cases where people are waiting longer than they expect, and we know that is stressful. Individuals waiting for test results are asked to stay home and self-isolate,” Interior Health said.

Story continues below advertisement

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

B.C. to hire 500 more health-care workers to increase COVID-19 contact tracing – CBC.ca

Published

on


B.C. will temporarily hire 500 more health-care professionals to work as contact tracers for COVID-19, government officials announced Wednesday.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement alongside Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, explaining that public health teams usually follow up on the close connections of people who’ve tested positive for the virus, but more resources are needed during this pandemic.

Henry said the new positions are an important part of preventing disease transmission. They allow health officials to make sure that everyone who has been exposed to the virus is in isolation and monitoring themselves for symptoms.

“This is bread and butter work for public health,” she said.

Recruiting for the 500 positions will be done by public health authorities, and teams will be ready to deploy across the province if needed.

“This allows us now to get more people trained up to do this really important work, as we continue through the progression of our pandemic,” Henry said.

The new contact tracers are expected to begin work in September and will be employed until at least the end of March 2021.

The news comes as new COVID-19 infections continue to surge. On Tuesday, health officials announced that another 46 cases had been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to date to 4,111, including 472 that are still active.

A total of 195 people have died of the disease in B.C.

Good behaviour ‘not consistent’

Henry said Wednesday that despite the increasing number of cases, B.C. is still “holding our own” on contact tracing, managing to reach 98 per cent of the contacts of each new positive case.

Nonetheless, Horgan said he’s concerned about the rising number of cases among young people, particularly those connected to large parties.

“As we’ve seen over the past number of weeks, the good behaviour, the common sense of British Columbians is not consistent across the board,” he said.

Horgan said he hopes B.C. can continue to enforce public health orders mainly through warnings but will escalate penalties with those who continue to flaunt the rules.

He also joked that it might be time to “call in Deadpool,” making a plea for Vancouver-raised movie star Ryan Reynolds — along with comedian Seth Rogen — to publicly encourage young people to avoid large gatherings. 

Watch |  B.C.’s premier asks for superhero help in the fight against COVID-19: “This is a call out to Deadpool right now. Ryan we need your help up here.”

B.C.’s premier puts out a call out to Deadpool star to help encourage young people to avoid large gatherings. 0:34

Meanwhile, Horgan and Henry both addressed calls from some corners for a mask mandate in public spaces, saying they have no plans to make face coverings compulsory.

“We don’t want people to believe that masks will be an invincibility shield for them,” Horgan said.

Henry stressed again that masks are not something that can prevent transmission on their own, but she’s encouraged to see them become increasingly “normalized” in communities.

Earlier Wednesday, Education Minister Rob Fleming released details of a phased plan for the return to school in September.

School staff will arrive on Sept. 8 to receive instructions on plans to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and begin adjusting to the new reality. Students are expected to return for orientation by Sept. 10.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

COVID-19 updates in Calgary for Aug. 13

Published

on

Across Canada, the numbers are slightly more conservative, with 52 per cent saying the restrictions are just right, 20 per cent saying they go too far, and 28 per cent wanting to see tighter rules.

People in B.C, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were more open to tighter restrictions to prevent the spread. Alberta and Quebec showed the least openness to that idea.

The poll also asked respondents how they felt about their premier’s handling of the pandemic. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney received the lowest approval rating east of the Atlantic provinces, with 51 per cent saying he was doing a good job, and 47 per cent saying he was doing a bad job.

The results come from an online survey of 1,511 Canadian adults registered on the Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.


Canada’s airports likely to hike passenger fees as need for upgrades rise in the wake of pandemic

A man pushes a baggage cart wearing a mandatory face mask as a “Healthy Airport” initiative is launched for travel, taking into account social distancing protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 23, 2020. Carlos Osorio/REUTERS

Canada’s airports are facing the bill for long-recommended upgrades just as COVID-19 has decimated their revenues and passengers could end up covering the costs when planes take off again.

In early March, before the pandemic was front and centre, the government published new regulations calling for the extension of emergency overshoot areas at major airport runways. The overshoots, called runway end safety areas (RESA), exist at airports around the world and are designed for emergencies when planes run out of room while landing.

Source:

Source link

Continue Reading

Health

COVID-19 Update: 121 new cases, one additional death | Hinshaw advises teachers to get tested before school starts – Calgary Herald

Published

on


Article content continued


Albertans almost evenly split on coronavirus restrictions dissatisfaction

Social and physical distancing signs are pictured on the floors of various business throughout Vancouver and surrounding area Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Too much, or not enough? When it comes to restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Albertans are almost evenly split on that question.

Almost half of Albertans — 48 per cent according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute — say the current restrictions are about right.

Among the other half who say they aren’t satisfied, there is almost an even split between those saying restrictions go too far (25 Per cent) or not far enough (27 per cent).

Across Canada, the numbers are slightly more conservative, with 52 per cent saying the restrictions are just right, 20 per cent saying they go too far, and 28 per cent wanting to see tighter rules.

People in B.C, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were more open to tighter restrictions top prevent the spread. Alberta and Quebec showed the least openness to that idea.

The poll also asked respondents how they felt about their premier’s handling of the pandemic. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney received the lowest approval rating east of the Atlantic provinces, with 51 per cent saying he was doing a good job, and 47 per cent saying he was doing a bad job.

The results come from an online survey of 1,511 Canadian adults registered on the Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.


Canada’s airports likely to hike passenger fees as need for upgrades rise in the wake of pandemic

A man pushes a baggage cart wearing a mandatory face mask as a “Healthy Airport” initiative is launched for travel, taking into account social distancing protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 23, 2020. Carlos Osorio/REUTERS

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending