New COVID-19 testing site announced at UBC as B.C. faces surging case numbers


Vancouver Coastal Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing site at the University of British Columbia, amid a surge in demand as the Omicron variant surges in the province.

The new site is located at the Life Sciences Centre, Health Sciences Mall at the university’s Vancouver campus, and will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

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COVID-19: B.C. triaging PCR tests, acknowledges greater aerosol spread of Omicron variant

With weather warnings in effect over icy weather expected to descend on the province this week, the health authority said it will temporarily divert all test-seekers from its St. Vincent’s site near Cambie and 33rd Avenue to the UBC site, starting on Dec. 25.

“This is a precautionary measure to ensure the safe operations of testing services for both staff and people accessing care during the inclement weather,” it said in a media release.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. health officials hold Christmas Eve COVID-19 briefing'

B.C. health officials hold Christmas Eve COVID-19 briefing

B.C. health officials hold Christmas Eve COVID-19 briefing

“VCH has redeployed both staffing and resources from St. Vincent’s to the UBC testing site to ensure those accessing services receive safe and efficient care. When operations resume at St. Vincent’s, the UBC testing site will continue to operate to meet the significant demand for testing recorded across the VCH region in recent weeks.”

The health authority did not say when the St. Vincent’s site would reopen.

Read more:

COVID-19: B.C. reports 2,441 new cases, four deaths amid maxed-out testing system

Earlier Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was doing more than 20,000 PCR tests, and was triaging testing as it did not have the capacity to do more.

She urged people without symptoms not to seek a test, and asked anyone with symptoms who was not a senior or in an at-risk group to isolate themselves at home rather than seeking a test.

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B.C. announced more than 2,400 new COVID-19 cases on Friday a new record,, with active cases climbing over 10,000 for the first time since

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