Home page of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control assessment page, located at covid19.thrive.health (or search BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool). (B.C. Ministry of Health)

Coronavirus self-assessment soars in B.C., 1-888-COVID19 line picking up

Test kit distribution sped up as thousands call for information, testing

B.C.’s online self-assessment tool for COVID-19 rose to a million users within days of being launched, and people are starting to use the new toll-free line for non-medical information about the coronavirus outbreak.

The new services are to take some of the load off B.C.’s overburdened 8-1-1 HealthLinkBC line, which has been dealing with up to 4,000 calls per day this week and is struggling to provide advice from nurses on all medical conditions.

The 1-888-COVID19 line (1-888-268-4319) is to provide non-medical information and help people decide if they should seek testing. Health Minister Adrian Dix said by March 18 the new line had received nearly 2,000 calls per day. It also accepts text messages to 604-630-0300.

The B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool, a questionnaire on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, went from 779,000 visits to one million in a single day this week, Dix said. Located at covid19.thrive.health (or search BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool), the web survey steps people through their symptoms, risk factors and travel history, and gives them recommendations.

RELATED: B.C. Transit cancels some routes, eliminates fares

RELATED: Canada-U.S. border expected to close Friday night

Managing demand for COVID-19 testing has also been a struggle, as B.C. ramped up from a few hundred tests per week to what Dix expects will be more than 17,000 in total by Friday. Tests are being limited to people showing symptoms, and existing cases continue to be tested to see when they are no longer shedding virus and can resume normal activities.

For those who need testing, Health Canada has changed regulations to speed up the distribution of two common test kits for COVID-19, with an interim order signed by federal Health Minister Patti Hajdu.

“This interim order may also help ensure Canadian access to other marketed COVID-19 related medical devices to treat, mitigate or prevent COVID-19, as necessary,” Health Canada said in a statement.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gleaners give surplus produce, Vernon gratefully fed

Trailer full of goods scooped by community amid COVID-19

Lumby group fights isolation with online meetings

Monashee Toastmasters are keeping their distance but still getting together

COVID-19: Vernon chamber calls for 6 months flexibility on property tax

Chamber prefers application process over outright deferral to encourage those who can to pay on time

Community drums up support for Vernon hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Friends of Dorothy’s drag queens deliver food in support of Kelowna’s first responders

The lounge is donating $5 from every order to first responders

Coquihalla closed in both directions, medevac to land

DriveBC says drivers should expect delays of up to one hour

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

LETTER: Flights from infected countries should be banned

There is no excuse to allow those from infected countries to keep coming to B.C.

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Most Read