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Drive-through coronavirus test clinic up and running in Victoria

A vehicle goes through a drive-thru COVID-19 test station in Victoria on Monday, March 16, 2020. Global News

An appointment-only drive-through testing clinic is up and running in Victoria, as the province seeks to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Eight cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, have been confirmed on Vancouver Island. The total in B.C. is 103 cases as of Monday morning, with four deaths.

In a media release on Friday, Island Health said it had opened a testing clinic on a referral-only basis.

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Anyone experiencing symptoms such as a fever, dry cough or difficulty breathing should phone the 811 HealthLinkBC line or their doctor, said Island Health, and they will direct you to the drive-through clinic to book an appointment if needed.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix has said health authorities would each roll out their own testing clinics in the coming days, but he stressed that they will not be open to the public on a drop-in basis.

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” “It’s not for everybody and it would not be useful for people who are not symptomatic to have tests at all,” he said.

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Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that even people returning from other countries with mild symptoms may not need to be tested, and should instead remain at home in self-isolation. Further information for these patients is expected in the coming days.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: B.C. municipalities closing community centres and other civic facilities

 

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Officials have said testing will focus on people linked to existing clusters of cases, people in hospitals, health-care staff, and people linked to long-term care homes, along with anyone who exhibits serious symptoms.

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