VICTORIA -- A referral-only COVID-19 screening clinic has opened in the Cowichan Valley.

Island Health asks that no one attend or call the screening clinic unless they have been referred to the facility by a primary health provider or an 811 HealthLink BC nurse.

If someone is referred to the screening clinic, they will then be instructed to call the facility where a nurse will determine if they require an appointment.

Island Health is reminding islanders that not everyone will need a COVID-19 test. According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the only people who need tests are those who have respiratory symptoms and are:

  • Hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized
  • Health Care Workers
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak

People without symptoms, or who have mild respiratory symptoms that can be managed at home – even if those symptoms appeared after returning to Canada within 14 days – do not need to seek testing, according to Island Health.

Otherwise, anyone who is feeling ill is asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days. While in public, people can protect against spreading germs by practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

The Cowichan Valley COVID-19 screening clinic is the third of its kind to open on Vancouver Island. Earlier this week, clinics opened in Victoria and Nanaimo.

“To increase our ability to test those whom health officials deem a high priority, Island Health is actively working to open more COVID-19 referral-only screening clinics across Vancouver Island in the coming days,” says Island Health.

“The situation is evolving quickly and our strategies are evolving to keep people in the communities we serve safe.”