Home page of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control assessment page, located at covid19.thrive.health (or search BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool). (B.C. Ministry of Health)

Coronavirus self-assessment soars in B.C., 1-888-COVID19 line picking up

Test kit distribution sped up as thousands call for information, testing

B.C.’s online self-assessment tool for COVID-19 rose to a million users within days of being launched, and people are starting to use the new toll-free line for non-medical information about the coronavirus outbreak.

The new services are to take some of the load off B.C.’s overburdened 8-1-1 HealthLinkBC line, which has been dealing with up to 4,000 calls per day this week and is struggling to provide advice from nurses on all medical conditions.

The 1-888-COVID19 line (1-888-268-4319) is to provide non-medical information and help people decide if they should seek testing. Health Minister Adrian Dix said by March 18 the new line had received nearly 2,000 calls per day. It also accepts text messages to 604-630-0300.

The B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool, a questionnaire on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, went from 779,000 visits to one million in a single day this week, Dix said. Located at covid19.thrive.health (or search BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool), the web survey steps people through their symptoms, risk factors and travel history, and gives them recommendations.

RELATED: B.C. Transit cancels some routes, eliminates fares

RELATED: Canada-U.S. border expected to close Friday night

Managing demand for COVID-19 testing has also been a struggle, as B.C. ramped up from a few hundred tests per week to what Dix expects will be more than 17,000 in total by Friday. Tests are being limited to people showing symptoms, and existing cases continue to be tested to see when they are no longer shedding virus and can resume normal activities.

For those who need testing, Health Canada has changed regulations to speed up the distribution of two common test kits for COVID-19, with an interim order signed by federal Health Minister Patti Hajdu.

“This interim order may also help ensure Canadian access to other marketed COVID-19 related medical devices to treat, mitigate or prevent COVID-19, as necessary,” Health Canada said in a statement.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Are you a senior needing help during COVID-19? These Chilliwack volunteers are here for you

Picking up groceries and phone chats are just some of the services being offered at no charge

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Chilliwack Learning Society finds new way to get free books to kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Debbie Denault is hoping others will join her in handing out free books in their own neighbourhoods

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘I love you this much’: Chilliwack firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read