Island Health has moved its COVID-19 testing site from a temporary structure outside the Lady Minto Hospital to the Salt Spring Legion building.
Meaden Hall at 120 Blain Rd. is now the place where anyone recommended to get tested will get their test. Andrew Leyne with Island Health stated via email that the “comfort and safety of our patients and staff, as well as accessibility” were factors for the shift.
As the spread of the Omicron variant affects all of B.C., testing and isolation protocols have changed. Leyne confirmed that someone with mild symptoms and no risk factors for severe illness does not need to get tested. It’s best to follow BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines for whether to get tested, and call Island Health’s testing line at 1-844-901-8442.
“The call centre will call you back to determine next steps,” Island Health stated. “If you require testing, you will be sent a link and passcode to book a time to pick up an at-home test kit from one of our testing sites.” For details on how to use a rapid antigen test at home, go to bccdc.ca and search “Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19.”
“PCR testing is most appropriate for symptomatic people at the highest risk,” Island Health stated. “That means people who are older, over age 65, people who have underlying illness and people with more severe symptoms where this makes a difference in how they get treated and access to treatment. It also includes hospital workers, emergency responders and others.”
Public health advises anyone with symptoms (see chart below), even if they are mild, to stay home and isolate for five days.
Salt Spring Island had 34 positive cases this past week (Jan. 7 to 13), compared to 30 in the previous week. The other Southern Gulf Islands had two cases last week and 10 the week prior. The Greater Victoria local health area, which includes the Southern Gulf Islands, had 972 cases last week and 992 the week prior.