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Prince George COVID-19 testing centre at 'full capacity'

More testing capacity is being added to meet the demand, a Northern Health spokesperson says
No COVID tests available
No COVID-19 test appointments were available at the Prince George testing site on Monday at 3 p.m., according to Northern Health's test booking registration page.

Prince George residents showing symptoms of COVID-19 weren’t able to book an appointment to be tested, as of Monday afternoon.

Residents who tried to sign up for at test at the testing site located in Parkwood Mall using Northern Health’s online test booking website were greeted with the message, “No appointments currently available. You cannot book an appointment at this time. Please continue to isolate and check back later.”

COVID-19 testing remained available at other Northern Health facilities, including those in Vanderhoof, Mackenzie and Quesnel.

Northern Health prioritizes tests for healthcare workers showing signs of COVID-19, and for people living in health care facilities (including long-term care homes), congregate settings (prisons, homeless shelters, etc.), and First Nations communities. In addition, testing is prioritized for people 55 years old and older, and people who identify as Indigenous.

However, no testing was available at the Prince George testing centre, even for a health care worker showing symptoms, according to the online booking system.

“This is a result of the testing centre being booked to full capacity,” Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said on Monday.

The current system only books up to three days in advance, and all appointments have currently been filled for the next three days, she said.

“They are adding more capacity as we speak,” Collins said. “(And) some people… will get a rapid antigen test to take home.”

Collins urged residents who qualify to be tested to check back regularly, as additional appointments will be available soon.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control does not recommend people who have no COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, to be tested, Collins added. The CDC is also expected to recommend that people who are fully vaccinated, and only have mild symptoms they can manage at home, should skip testing and just self-isolate until they are feeling better, she added.

UPDATE: Residents were able to begin booking testing appointments at the Prince George COVID-19 testing centre as of Tuesday morning.