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News releases

Have symptoms? Get tested for COVID-19

B.C.’s testing COVID-19 strategy has been expanded to include anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, however mild.

While testing has expanded, not everyone needs a test. COVID-19 testing is not recommended for people without symptoms.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. They include:

New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way

To ensure British Columbians have increased access to vital mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has announced $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support British Columbians.

The Province is working in partnership with Foundry Youth Centres, the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA-BC), the BC Psychological Association and other community partners to deliver new and expanded mental health services.

Northern Health temporarily suspends pay parking

In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Northern Health is temporarily suspending pay parking for the public, staff and medical staff, at the University Hospital of Northern BC effective April 1st, and until further notice.

Pay parking machines require people to touch screens and buttons that may have been touched by someone previously. Discontinuing the use of pay parking machines reduces the risk of potential spread of infection and also supports physical distancing measures that have been mandated by the Provincial Health Officer.

Safe seniors, strong communities during COVID-19

As part of British Columbia’s emergency novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response plan, the Province is providing the United Way of the Lower Mainland with $50 million to bolster seniors’ supports at community service agencies throughout British Columbia.

This will help address immediate needs associated with the impact of COVID-19, so seniors get the support they need to stay safe at home.

New clinical guidance to reduce risk for people during dual health emergencies

To help reduce the risks to people who use substances, the Province has announced new clinical guidance, effective immediately, for health-care providers to stem the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the ongoing overdose emergency.

The provincial clinical guidance incorporates the federal government’s recent exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UPDATED – Additional visitor restrictions in place at Northern Health facilities

Northern Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to respond to COVID-19. The situation is evolving quickly and our strategies are evolving to keep people in the communities we serve safe.

To support the Provincial Health Officer’s directions around social distancing and protect our residents, patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19, Northern Health has made the difficult decision to allow only essential visits to our facilities.

Essential visits will be considered for patients who are:

Northern Health Connections service changes due to COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Northern Health Connections will be restricting passenger travel. Recognizing the age and underlying health of our clients, only those individuals requiring travel for essential medical appointments will be booked for service. Individuals who are mid trip and have a paid return ticket prior to March 22, 2020 are still eligible to use Northern Health Connections to return home.   

Northern Health Connections will also not be accepting any walk-on passengers, with no exceptions.