Wednesday January 5, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
If people don’t have COVID symptoms, you don’t need a test. And if you have symptoms, assume you have COVID. That’s been the messaging of Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry for a couple of weeks now during the current wave caused by the Omicron variant.
Seems the key is to continue getting that message communicated out effectively, especially in light of health-care workers having been harassed by some people demanding rapid tests.
This evening, there was a reminder about testing and having respect for health-care workers.
Dr Henry together with Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, issued the following statement at 5:15 pm:
“B.C.’s health-care workers are doing an exceptional job under the most challenging of circumstances. They deserve the support of all of us, particularly now as we work together to manage this next phase of the pandemic.
“We have received reports of health-care workers at COVID-19 testing centres being intimidated, threatened and otherwise verbally harassed by some people seeking tests. The Government of B.C. recently brought into force the Access to Services Act to help protect the safety and well-being of health-care workers at testing centres, and impeding services or intimidating workers at these sites is illegal. Incidents of threats and aggressive behaviour will be reported to police. Our health-care workers need a safe and respectful workplace, free of abuse and threats of violence, so they can continue their work to keep us safe.
“It’s also important for all of us to follow public health guidance on testing, to ensure tests are available for those who need them most, for clinical management.
“If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to be tested. Please do not attempt to access testing services. This will allow health-care workers to prioritize care to those who need it.
“If you have had a test recommended by a medical professional or the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, please seek a COVID-19 test through your local health authority.
“As a reminder, if you are feeling unwell at all, even if you think it isn’t COVID-19, even if you think it is just a mild cold or flu, you need to stay away from others until you feel better.
“If you have severe symptoms, seek medical help right away.
“We continue to urge all British Columbians to follow all provincial health officer orders, stay home when sick, wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, keep your distance from others when you are out, wash your hands frequently and most importantly, if you haven’t done so already, get vaccinated.”
Island Health workers appreciated:
In Island Health, a thank-you webpage and email intake launched just before Christmas has — as of today — received 900 contributions (500 from online and 400 by email) thanking health-care teams for all their work providing care throughout the pandemic.
“Messages are thoughtful and grateful to our staff, medical staff and volunteers for their dedication during such a busy time,” it was stated by Island Health today.
COVID rolls into 2022: tough couple of weeks ahead (January 4, 2022)
Island Health looks ahead into 2022 (January 4, 2022)
Lots of COVID over New Year’s weekend (January 3, 2022)
BC Access to Services Act (announced November 15, 2021)
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool (BC Health)