VICTORIA -- Island Health has launched a referral-only COVID-19 screening clinic in Victoria.

According to the health organization, the clinic will only be available to people who have been referred to the testing facility by a primary care provider or a HealthLink BC nurse.

Any Victoria resident who feels like they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing, is asked to contact their care provider or call HealthLink BC at 811.

A triage nurse at the clinic in Victoria will assess referred patients over the phone to determine if an appointment at the facility is necessary, Island Health said. 

The health authority is stressing the importance of people not attending or calling the screening clinic unless they are directed to do so by a care provider or 811 nurse. The organization adds that residents should avoid going to hospital emergency rooms unless it is necessary. 

"While there are confirmed cases in the province, the risk to British Columbians and Vancouver Islanders remains low," said Island Health in a release Friday.

The health authority says that it is working on opening similar COVID-19 referral-only screening clinics in other regions of Vancouver Island, including in Nanaimo, Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

As of Friday, the Island Health region had one confirmed case of COVID-19, while the provincial total was 64.