Opinion: 'Eddie in Burnaby' wants in-home COVID test options

Chris Campbell

When it comes to being tested for COVID-19, there are some cracks in the system.

One friend took the federal and provincial online self-assessments and got two opposite answers. He ended up just getting a test to be sure and he didn’t have COVID-19.

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Many people have done the drive-through test at the testing centre set up in Burnaby’s Central Park.

But what if you don’t drive and feeling really ill.

That’s the scenario presented to me by Eddie, who didn’t want his last name used.

Eddie went through what he called a “major flu” recently that he suspected of being COVID-19. He called 811 and was told he should self-isolate for 10 days. If he couldn’t breathe, he should call 911.

“I was told I could get tested at Central Park on a first-come, first-serve basis, but I do not drive anymore and I was in no condition to go out even if I did,” Eddie said. “The only way I could feasibly be tested would be to go by ambulance to emergency.

“Four days of continuous vomiting and truly thought I was going to die on the last two days. I had to decide whether I wanted to die at home or in quarantine at hospital. No wonder I wouldn't go in by ambulance to get tested.”

Eddie thinks there should be mobile testing that includes in-home calls.

I presented this scenario to Fraser Health and was sent a statement.

“While the Burnaby COVID-19 Assessment Centre does provide drive-through assessment and testing services, the site also provides walk-in visits to people who do not have a vehicle,” said Fraser Health. “Additionally, Fraser Health also provides outreach services to the elderly and to any person who is home-bound. To access these services, a person can call the Fraser Health Home Health Service Line at 1-855-412-2121.”

So Fraser Health didn't say they have in-home testing, but they will work with people to ensure they get a test.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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