A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

Chilliwack children can get tested locally, Fraser Health confirms

Erroneous information online and via 811 has many families driving to Abbotsford for testing

A bit of miscommunication has had some Chilliwack parents taking their children all the way to Abbotsford for COVID-19 testing.

Incorrect information has been delivered both through 811 via the phone, and from the provincial app designed to find testing sites in each community. Both have steered families with children to the Abbotsford Primary Care Unit, advising that Chilliwack does not test people ages 0-16.

In fact, children in the Chilliwack area can get tested in Chilliwack, Fraser Health has confirmed with The Progress.

“Children who require a COVID-19 assessment and/or test can visit the Chilliwack Primary Care Clinic located at Chilliwack General Hospital,” Fraser Health stated in an email on Aug. 6. “Families can make appointments at the clinic, which is run in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice, after getting a referral from their GP.”

Children who require an urgent COVID-19 assessment and/or test can be seen and assessed in the CGH emergency department, they added.

That came as welcome, if a little late, news for Jocelyn Thomas. The Chilliwack mom was sent to Abbotsford by 811 for tests for her two children and herself this week. She also saw on the provincial app that Chilliwack is listed as not testing children. Once in Abbotsford, Thomas was told to go back home and make an appointment for the next day.

She questioned how the process will help families who work, or don’t have transportation. She was happy to find out, that while she and others were inconvenienced, testing is available locally as school sets to open. When a regular bug moves through a classroom, she says, they can get down to just a half dozen students some days.

READ MORE: Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

Fraser Health has said they are working with their partners to update the incorrect information. Chilliwack is one of 10 COVID-19 assessment and testing centres, in addition to South Delta, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Surrey, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Langley, Mission and Abbotsford.

“Our COVID-19 assessment and testing centres have to ability to expand capacity as the need arises and we are developing sustainability plans to meet the escalating demand,” Fraser Health’s email confirmed.

They also outlined who should be seeking a test or assessment.

“Any person with cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones, can get tested for COVID-19. If you have no symptoms, even if you are a contact of a confirmed case or a returning traveller, you do not require a test,” they said. “To help prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the community, we remind people to stay home when you are sick, practice physical distancing, and keep your ‘bubble’ small and consistent.”

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

READ MORE: Canadian Paediatric Society eyes mysterious syndrome for suspected COVID links


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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