VCH closes second COVID-19 testing site due to extreme cold weather
Vancouver Coastal Health announced on Christmas Day that it was temporarily closing the COVID-19 test collection centre on Sea Island in Richmond because the extreme cold weather was making travel treacherous.
This is the second COVID-19 testing site to temporarily close due to winter weather this week, leaving sick Vancouverites with fewer options to get tested as Omicron cases surge.
“To help manage the potential influx in testing volumes, staff from the YVR testing site will be re-deployed to support [alternative] clinics in the interim,” the health authority said in an Instagram post.
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Earlier this week, VCH also temporarily closed the drive-through St. Vincent test collection centre near Queen Elizabeth Park because snowy roads were making the journey dangerous for drivers.
In the meantime, VCH suggests sick individuals go to other test collection sites, including the newly-opened one at the University of British Columbia that distributes take-home rapid antigen tests. Daily Hive has reached out to VCH to ask if those results are included in daily case counts but has not yet heard back.
The only three remaining PCR collection centres in Vancouver are the Three Bridges Test Collection Site downtown and two urgent primary care centres — one downtown and one in East Vancouver.
There is also the North Vancouver COVID-19 Collection Centre and the North Shore urgent primary care centre. Vancouverites could also travel to Fraser Health to seek testing in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Surrey, or Maple Ridge.
VCH has not said when the closed testing centres are set to reopen.
BC, like the rest of Canada, is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. On Christmas Eve, the last day numbers were reported, the province broke its daily record for the fourth day in a row with more than 2,400 new cases.
#CovidBC update: 2,441 new cases since we last reported, for a total of 235,658 cases in BC. There have been four new deaths, for a total of 2,414. 87.8% of eligible people 5+ have received their first dose and 82.8% have received their second dose. https://t.co/Nl97kxfjGz pic.twitter.com/R8HkkmTIOK
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 24, 2021