VANCOUVER Coastal Health (VCH) announced on Saturday that a new assessment centre is now open in North Vancouver to provide increased screening and testing for COVID-19.
Located in the parking lot of Centennial Theatre on Lonsdale Avenue with access from 23rd Street, the site is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. It can accommodate both walk-in and drive-through clients.
“British Columbia’s COVID-19 response has been about adapting and responding quickly to changing needs as the pandemic continues in our province,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The new North Vancouver COVID-19 assessment centre is the second to open this week in the region and will help ensure that assessment and testing is broadly available to people experiencing symptoms, when they need it.”
People visiting the new North Vancouver COVID-19 assessment centre will not need a referral or appointment, and will, be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis. A BC Services Card is required to be processed. Visitors are also required to wear a medical mask, which will be provided and must be worn even in their vehicle.
The setup of this new assessment centre was possible with the support of community partners, including Squamish Nation, City of North Vancouver, North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, North Shore Emergency Management, North Vancouver City Fire Department, District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, North Vancouver RCMP and North Shore Rescue.
To view a time-lapsed video and still images from the construction of the new site click here.
The new North Shore assessment centre follows the opening of a similar testing site in Vancouver in the parking lot of Vancouver Community College. Operating hours in Richmond and other locations will also increase in the next couple of weeks. For current site locations and hours, please refer to the collection site locator on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
Assessment for testing, if indicated, will be conducted for those with symptoms of COVID-19 which can include:
· Cough or worsening of chronic cough
· Shortness of breath
· Sore throat
· Runny nose
· Loss of sense of smell or taste
· Loss of appetite
· Nausea and vomiting
· Muscle aches
While less common, symptoms can also include:
· Stuffy nose
· Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
· Dizziness, confusion
· Abdominal pain
· Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes.
While the criteria for testing has changed during the pandemic, not everyone needs a test. COVID-19 testing is not recommended for people without symptoms. You can use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment for COVID-19 testing by a healthcare provider or at a local collection centre. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.
Identifying new cases of COVID-19 in a timely manner is important to help prevent community spread of the virus and this new assessment centre will contribute to those efforts. VCH continues to monitor cases throughout our region. While there can be cases anywhere in B.C., if we follow the public health guidance and all continue working together, we will be better prepared. For more information on COVID-19 and testing, please visit www.vch.ca/COVID-19.