FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health hopes to have a laboratory at the Fort St. John Hospital up and running to process COVID-19 tests by the end of May.
A piece of equipment called a GeneXpert has arrived at the Fort St. John and the Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace. This equipment will allow the local laboratories to process COVID-19 tests.
The equipment and the labs will now undergo a validation and quality checking process before they can begin testing results. This can take anywhere from two to four weeks to complete. The hope is both laboratories will be up and running by the end of May.
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Currently, completed tests are either sent to UHNBC Hospital in Prince George or flown to laboratories in the Lower Mainland. Turn around times for test results have improved from almost a week to less than 48 hours.
Northern Health will continue to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officier on who will get tested. Currently, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested.