(BCCDC COVID-19 testing)

Vancouver Island residents looking to get tested for COVID-19 have been experiencing a longer waiting period than usual this week.

Several Victoria Buzz readers have reported being told to wait up to two days to get a swab test that would determine whether or not they have contracted COVID-19.

In a statement, Island Health has confirmed that testing sites in the region are experiencing delays due to technical difficulties and increased demand.

Island Health is currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes to our COVID-19 testing call centre due to the increase in cases across BC,” the health authority said in an emailed statement to Victoria Buzz.

“We are moving quickly to implement mitigation strategies, including recruiting staffing resources, to ensure we can consistently meet the demand.”

VIHA says callers are experiencing wait times of up to 60 to 90 minutes to speak to a nurse or clerk during peak times, and generally, wait times are longer in the morning.

The health authority added that their call centres are also experiencing technical difficulties, which makes wait times longer for some.

Spokesperson Cheryl Bloxham says these difficulties include dropped calls, and that the call centre team has been working with the provider to address the problem.

Longer wait times for testing may be attributed to these issues.

Island Health recommends people take the province’s COVID-19 self assessment test online before calling 8-1-1.

People who do not have symptoms of the virus are not being tested in B.C.

Thus far, B.C. has conducted 313,285 COVID-19 test of which 45,135 have been in the Vancouver Island Health region.

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