(BCCDC)

Labs across British Columbia have tested over 53,000 people for COVID-19 to date, according to the BCCDC.

According to the latest information available as of the time of publication, 1,370 people have tested positive for the virus in B.C. Of those, 858 people have recovered.

On a national level, the National Microbiology Laboratory has thus far tested over 383,000 people in Canada.

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In a new video posted on social media, the BCCDC offers a quick behind-the-scenes glimpse into what COVID-19 testing looks like at a lab.

According to the video, testing kits are first taken to a marked containment area, where they are then handled by personnel wearing protective clothing.

Test samples are extracted by a machine that then analyzes viral genetic information. The data is further analyzed on a computer to then determine if the patient has tested positive for COVID-19.

The BCCDC says a batch of 89 samples takes between eight and 10 hours to process completely.

Check out the video below:

 

Public health officials in B.C. shifted the testing strategy from broad community testing, to focus specifically on health care workers, long term care home residents, and community outbreaks.

Earlier this week, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that the number of overall tests being conducted in the province has decreased as a result of this shift in strategy.

However the rate at which people tested positive for the virus during broad testing was one per cent, but targeted testing now has a six to seven per cent positivity rate.

Testing people with mild symptoms was also leading to a number of false negatives, as tests fail to detect the virus in pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic patients.

B.C. does expect to return to a strategy of broad community testing as the pandemic eases off and fewer test-positive cases are reported each day.


See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island


The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 1,666,997.

Over 100,400 people have died from the illness and 370,001 have made a full recovery.

 

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