British Columbia’s seniors’ advocate says the Fraser Health Authority’s move to oversee a pair of Abbotsford care homes with severe COVID-19 outbreaks underscores the necessity to deploy fast checks as quickly as potential.
Provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in late November that B.C. had received a portion of the millions of rapid tests acquired by the federal government, however was nonetheless “figuring out the easiest way” to make use of them.
Choices included potential deployment to care houses and rural areas, she mentioned.
Seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie mentioned Saturday that long-term care and assisted-living services want the instruments now.
“I want to see them deployed as shortly as potential,” Mackenzie mentioned.
“Targetted at first to the Decrease Mainland, and you would argue targetted inside the Decrease Mainland to Surrey and people areas we all know the place we’ve acquired the best ranges of group transmission.”
At the least 58 care houses in B.C. have been coping with outbreaks as of Saturday, most of them within the Fraser Well being area.
The quantity is greater than double the care dwelling outbreaks on the peak of COVID-19’s first wave in line with Mackenzie.
Calls for brand spanking new method to assist B.C. long-term care residents throughout pandemic
The care houses have additionally seen a wave of fatalities, not like something B.C. has seen to date within the pandemic.
On Friday, Fraser Well being moved to provide “leadership supports” and COVID-19 oversight at Tabor Residence, which has 154 circumstances and 18 deaths, and Menno Residence, which has 41 circumstances and one demise, in Abbotsford.
Dan Levitt, government director at Tabor Village welcomed the added sources however echoed the decision for fast checks.
“By the point you develop signs and also you get examined, the injury has already been performed and the virus has already unfold,” he mentioned.
“If we had fast testing as one additional software that we don’t at the moment have … then we’d seize extra data on the individuals who have COVID and we might be capable to stop them from getting into the constructing.”
Speedy checks are less accurate than the “gold-standard” COVID-19 tests, which have to be processed in a lab and customarily want a minimum of a day to supply outcomes.
Coronavirus: B.C.’s seniors advocate requires fast testing in long-term care houses
Speedy checks will be processed in the identical place a affected person is examined, generally in as few as quarter-hour, however as a result of they’re much less dependable nonetheless have to be confirmed by a lab check.
Mackenzie, who has operated a care dwelling herself, mentioned it was clear fast checks aren’t a silver bullet however would give directors an necessary further software.
“If it was my care dwelling and there was a capability to have my workers examined regularly as one of many added layers of safety, I’d need to do this,” she mentioned.
“The way in which I’d have a look at it’s it’s not a check, it’s a screening software … if it checks constructive, we get it confirmed by the PCR check. If it checks destructive, we don’t assume they don’t have it — they nonetheless need to placed on their PPE, they nonetheless need to reply the well being questions.”
International Information has requested remark from the Ministry of Well being on the standing of fast check deployment.
— With a file from the Canadian Press
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