B.C. recorded another 673 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with another 21 deaths of mainly elderly people in long-term care.
The trend continued from recent days, with 403 cased determined in the Fraser Health region, 145 in Vancouver Coastal, 66 in Interior Health, 47 in Northern Health and four on Vancouver Island.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the B.C. Centre for Disease Control is refining its testing to prioritize the four most likely symptoms of the novel coronavirus, fever or chills, a cough, loss of sense or smell or taste and difficulty breathing.
“As we have evolved our approach with COVID-19 and learn more about the virus and how it affecting people, and we learn more about the tests and how they work, we have recently updated our approach to testing to ensure that those people who most need to get a test right away realize that, and do that,” Henry said Dec. 17. “And we also recognize that for some people, it might be OK to stay away from others and wait and see if you need a test.
“In B.C. the majority of new cases continue to be directly connected to a confirmed case, cluster or an outbreak. So if you have been in contact with anybody, or you’ve been part of a cluster, or if there’s something going on in your workplace or your social group, and you have any symptoms at all, your should arrange to get tested immediately.”
People seeking tests are advised to first use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s online self-assessment tool, or phone the B.C. health information line at 8-1-1.
With the winter influenza and cold season underway, there ar other conditions that are are less likely indicators.
“There are other symptoms that also happen with COVID, but on their own they don’t necessarily mean you have the virus,” Henry said. “Those are things that are fairly common this time of year, like sore throat, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, body aches, nausea and diarrhea. If you have two or more of these symptoms, you can wait and see, but you can also go for a test. And if you feel the same or worse after 24 hours, then you can get tested.”