B.C. testing 'thousands' daily but focusing on highest risk cases and health-care workers: Henry
VANCOUVER -- In her daily health briefing on Monday, B.C.’s provincial health officer said that even though not everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 is being tested, those people are still being counted as cases, and those cases will start to be reported as part of the total number.
There have been numerous media stories about people who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus by their doctor, but told they won’t be tested. On March 19, Ximena Anderton told CTV News Vancouver that her doctor had diagnosed her and her two kids with the illness.
"She told us that they were no longer testing the public,” Anderton said. “It was just for emergency service workers, so nurses, doctors, anyone on the front line.”
Henry acknowledged that there has been a change in the provincial testing strategy, but cases where one member of a family has been tested and more family members start developing symptoms are being treated as “epidemiologically linked cases.”
“If I’m in a family for example and one person in the family has tested positive and I develop similar symptoms and they’re able to be managed at home, we don’t necessarily need to test you,” Henry said. “But we’ll call you a case, an epidemiologically linked case.”
Henry said those epidemiologically linked cases will start to be recorded on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website, along with the number of tested cases.
Medical staff across the province are doing thousands of tests every day, Henry said, and that testing is showing “a number of positives” every day.
“The testing is focused on the areas of highest risk,” Henry said. “We’re focusing on workers in long-term care homes, in hospitals, making sure we’re catching those.
“But there’s also quite a lot of effort going into catching clusters that aren’t related to travel in our community, and we continue to do the baseline testing of influenza and surveillance that we started a number of weeks ago.”