Parking signs are the only evidence of a referral-only clinic that Island Health opened in Victoria earlier this month. Island Health has emphasized that only those with appointments will be accepted at the clinic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Parking signs are the only evidence of a referral-only clinic that Island Health opened in Victoria earlier this month. Island Health has emphasized that only those with appointments will be accepted at the clinic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Referral-only COVID-19 testing facility opens in Port Alberni

No location was disclosed by Island Health as people without a referral are asked to stay away

A referral-only COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Port Alberni at an undisclosed location.

Island Health made the announcement via press release late Thursday, March 19, 2020 that the facility opened on March 19.

Island Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) to respond to COVID-19.

“To increase our ability to test those whom health officials deem a high priority, Island Health is actively working to open more COVID-19 referral-only screening clinics across Vancouver Island in the coming days,” the information bulletin noted.

An address for the Port Alberni testing facility was not provided. “It is important that people do not call or attend a screening clinic,” according to Island Health. “Access is by referral and appointment only.

“It is also important to understand that the majority of people will not meet the requirement for testing at a screening clinic.”

According to the latest guidance from the BCCDC, people who should be tested are those with respiratory symptoms who are:

· Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized

· Healthcare workers

· Residents of long-term care facilities

· Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak

People who do not need to be tested include:

· People without symptoms (The exception is health care workers with COVID-19 infection who require a negative test after symptom resolution to return to work)

· People with mild respiratory symptoms who can be managed at home. This includes returning travellers with an onset of illness within 14 days of return to Canada

People experiencing symptoms such as new fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing or are concerned they have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) should contact their primary health provider by phone. There is an online self-assessment tool available at https://covid19.thrive.health. People may also call a new dedicated coronavirus phone line set up by British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control at 1-833-707-2792 or HealthLink BC by dialing 811 to talk to a healthcare worker.

CoronavirusHealthcarePort Alberni