Covid-19 testing stations to get more staff and longer hours as cases surge

    Vancouver – Staff increases and extended hours are coming to Central Park Covid-19 testing centre along with other sites.

    Numerous people, some with fever have been turned away as the increase in Covid-19 cases reach the highest point during the pandemic.

    For example, on Aug. 14, 100 cases registered on that day surpassed the crest of the pandemic curve in April.

    People have also complained of long lineups with some waiting up to four hours to get a test at Esplanade in North Vancouver and on Hornby in Vancouver.


    Central Park testing lineup frustrating ill people

    Central Park testing centre was coping when community transmission was low. It remained open from noon to 6 p.m.

    Then a flood of people began a few days back. Cars were lined up from Boundary Road and 45th Avenue to 49th Avenue.

    “In an effort to better manage visitors, staff at this location have begun providing appointments to those in the line-up so they can return later in the day,” said Fraser Health spokesman Dixon Tam.

    “When staff have determined the maximum number of appointments have been reached, they will put up a sign indicating the site is closed to further visitors for the day, while continuing to serve visitors on an appointment basis.”

    “This helps alleviate traffic congestion in the area and ensures people do not wait in line only to be turned away later when the centre has reached testing capacity for the day.

    “We have the ability to increase our testing capacity as required. We are actively exploring where the priority areas are within our region and are putting expansion plans in place,” he said.

    “At the Burnaby Central Park location, we have recently increased staffing and will also be extending operating hours next week.”

    “Throughout the pandemic, Fraser Health has been working very hard to make COVID-19 assessment and testing available to every person who needs it, and we are monitoring the daily volumes at each assessment and testing centre to ensure we can continue to do so.

    “Wait times vary from 15 minutes to a few hours, depending on the site.”

    “Collectively, about 1,200 people per day visit our assessment and testing centres. Of this total, approximately half of these visits are people who present to our in-clinic/drive-up assessment and testing centres in Maple Ridge, Langley, Burnaby and Surrey. Upon assessment, staff will test a person for COVID-19 if they determine one is required.”

    “Any person with cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones, can get tested for COVID-19.

    Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

    ◦ New onset fever

    ◦ Cough

    ◦ Shortness of breath

    ◦ Sore throat

    ◦ Runny nose

    ◦ Nasal congestion

    ◦ Loss of sense of smell

    ◦ Loss of appetite

    ◦ Chills

    ◦ Headache

    ◦ Fatigue

    ◦ Muscle pain

    Lineup of three hours at Heather Street Covid-19 testing centre

    Health Minister Adrian Dix indicated on Monday that all health authorities are looking at their protocols to increase capacity and shorten wait times.