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COVID-19 leads to closures in Kamloops

Staff shortages prompt temporary service disruptions at LifeLabs and ICBC
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In addition to a downtown LifeLabs clinic, an ICBC insurance location in Kamloops has also closed temporarily due to COVID-19-related staff shortages.

The LifeLabs Nicola Street location is closed until at least Jan. 23 and those in need of its services are being redirected to the St. Paul Street location a few blocks away. That location, as well as LifeLabs offices on Harrison Way in Aberdeen and Tranquille Road on the North Shore, remains open.

Meanwhile, ICBC has temporarily closed its driver licensing office on Concordia Way in the McGill commercial area after some staff tested positive for COVID-19, but it’s expected to reopen on Jan. 17.

“Although health authorities did not order the closure, we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to help reduce the spread of the virus,” the Crown corporation stated in a press release.

Customers who had an appointments booked for this week are being contacted to reschedule, with road tests being rebooked on a priority basis.

Some services are still being handled over the phone, such as renewing insurance or Class 5 driver’s licences, which can be done by calling 1-800-950-1498. Insurance can also still be renewed at Autoplan brokers.

The ICBC claim centre on Battle Street, east of downtown, remains open.

LifeLabs , the province’s main private medical testing laboratory, has temporarily closed 11 locations around B.C., including the Kamloops location, and reduced hours at five others, due to COVID-caused staffing shortages.

A memo to B.C. health providers was posted on social media site Reddit.

“With the increasing cases of Omicron and pandemic protocols, LifeLabs has made the difficult decision to temporarily close and/or reduce hours for two weeks at select BC Patient Service Centres experiences significant staffing shortages,” the memo reads.

The shuttered locations include four in Vancouver, two each in Victoria and Richmond, one in Surrey and one in Pitt Meadows. Four out of five with reduced hours are in the Lower Mainland and one is on Vancouver Island.

—with files from the Williams Lake Tribune