COVID-19 testing and assessment centre opens in response to Kelowna cluster - InfoNews

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COVID-19 testing and assessment centre opens in response to Kelowna cluster

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site is available at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre on Harvey Avenue.
August 04, 2020 - 12:42 PM

A new COVID-19 testing and assessment centre is opening in Kelowna today, Aug. 4, providing more access for testing to people who may have been exposed to positive cases in the community.

The temporary COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre is located at Interior Health’s Community Health and Services Centre at 505 Doyle Ave., and open for testing during evening hours, 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., seven days per week. Individuals do not require an appointment and will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We are taking a different approach and trying something new at the (COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre),” Dr. Sue Pollock, Interior Health chief medical health officer said in a press release. “Many of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kelowna this month have been in their 20s and 30s, and live, work and socialize downtown. This site is set up to be convenient and accessible for these individuals and others, so that getting tested when you may have been exposed to COVID-19 is easy, and we can stop the spread.”

The testing and assessment centre will be in place for two weeks, with potential for it to be extended longer should there be a continued need.

On July 31, the total number of Kelowna cases connected to Canada Day parties was 137. There have been 369 cases in the region since the pandemic started.

“The July long weekend was a reminder that COVID-19 is still in our communities and can spread quickly if we are not respecting public health guidance, especially around gatherings,” Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema said in the release. “The increases in Kelowna started with a relatively small number of positive cases. The spread from these gatherings shows just how important it is to keep to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recommendation of fewer faces, bigger spaces.”

About 60 per cent of the Kelowna victims are considered to have recovered at this point. The exact number is “fluid” as investigations continue, Interior Health states.

The testing and assessment centre at the Kelowna Urgent and Primary Care Centre will continue to offer COVID-19 testing by appointment, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days per week to all individuals with symptoms, however mild. Appointments at the primary care centre can be made by phone at 250-469-6985.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Other milder symptoms may include: runny nose, fatigue, body aches (muscles and joints aching), diarrhea, headache, sore throat, vomiting and red eyes.

Interior Helath reminds everyone of the importance of following COVID-19 precautions:

  • Stay home and avoid travel if you have symptoms, even mild ones.
  • Maintain physical distancing (two metres apart) and use masks when distancing is not possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face.
  • Keep your gatherings small and spend time only with those you know. Limit gatherings to out of doors whenever possible.

Find information on Interior Health COVID-19 testing here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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