A Fraser Health healthcare worker tests a patient at a drive through COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., Monday, April 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Fraser Health promises to expand COVID testing capacity

Langley, Delta, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Surrey will all see testing boosts

More staff and extended hours are coming to Fraser Health’s primary coronavirus testing sites in Langley, Surrey, Delta, Chilliwack, and Burnaby as demand for tests increases.

Fraser Health announced the changes Wednesday.

“To respond to an increased demand for testing, we are expanding services where they are needed to support people with quick access to assessment and testing, and ensure we are minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our communities,” said Dr. Victoria Lee, Fraser Health’s president and CEO.

As positive COVID numbers have jumped sharply in recent weeks, more people have been seeking tests as well.

The changes implemented as of now include:

• Adding greeters to the Langley and Burnaby testing sites to manage lines and ensure only people with symptoms are there to be assessed and possibly tested.

• Increased staffing levels at the Burnaby assessment and testing centre, now from noon to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week

• Extended hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Delta testing centre

• Adding Saturday testing, 8 a.m. to noon at the Chilliwack Centre

• Traffic control added at the Langley testing centre

• A testing-only lane at the Surrey-Whalley Urgent and Primary Care Centre for people sent to get a test by their medical professional

Fraser Health said it also plans to increase capacity with a number of new measures, including…

• Two more drive-through lanes at the Burnaby assessment centre

• Increased staffing at the Langley centre and extending hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, to come into effect “in the coming weeks”

• Extended hours at the Abbotsford centre of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. seven days a week

• Two new temporary high-volume testing centres in Surrey and Fraser Northwest to expand access where there has been a sharply increased need

• Centralized pre-booking and pre-registration for assessment. The model for this is still in development, but is intended to give people the ability to book appointments by telephone and online, and to receive info on testing centre wait times

There are currently 10 testing centres run by Fraser Health in the region. For info on testing and the location of local testing centres, visit fraserhealth.ca/covid19.

READ MORE: Testing for COVID-19 in Langley runs seven days a week

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