Sun Peaks mayor asks for rapid COVID-19 testing

But Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Carol Fenton noted rapid testing has two disadvantages: they are less accurate than swab or swish tests and are costly.

Add Sun Peaks’ mayor to the list of those who would like to have made available rapid COVID-19 testing.

Al Raine made the request to Interior Health on Thursday, during the Thompson Regional Hospital District meeting.

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Raine told medical health officer Dr. Carol Fenton teenaged ski teams travel back and forth to the resort community from Quebec and Ontario. Meanwhile, two kids had COVID-like symptoms on the hill. Having some rapid testing available to the local doctor would be valuable to the community, he said.

“I see that Slovakia tested their entire country in two days,” Raine said, noting cases need to be identified as quickly as possible. “If there are rapid tests, how does a health centre like ours get access to that?”

Fenton said rapid testing has two disadvantages: they are less accurate than swab or swish tests and are costly.“

We are rapidly having to hire a lot of people to increase capacity for contact tracing. We need capacity at the lab level. We have moved most of our public health staff from other public health functions to COVID operations. We don’t have a lot of extra resources.”

The BC Care Providers Association has also called for rapid testing in order to allow for more family visits at care homes amid the pandemic.

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