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

VALLEY SENIORS: A second chance comes with enough memories for two

The Dietrich family makes its mark on Abbeyfield House in Port Alberni

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read