FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health says the recent surge in positive cases of COVID-19 is causing delays of up to in contact tracing.

Northern Health says it is working to deploy additional staff for contact tracing to help clear the backlog after increasing positive cases in the region.  

If you get tested for COVID-19, Northern Health is recommending you sign up to receive results by text message. This could reduce your wait time for results by up to 4 or 5 days.

The health authority asks residents to follow public health advice to help slow the spread of the virus. Rates of COVID-19 activity in the North during this second wave mean that all residents, whether or not they are known close contacts of a lab-confirmed COVID case, are at similar risk.

Public health will be also be reducing the frequency of calls to people in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, and not all people who are self-isolating will receive daily monitoring calls. Individuals may instead receive regular calls from their primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner) or get support by contacting N.H. Online (Virtual) Clinic 1-844-645-7811. Public Health will continue to call all COVID-19 positive individuals at the end of their isolation period to release them from the requirement to self-isolate.

As of Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said the Province will now be releasing case counts by local health area boundaries rather than by health authority. Residents and local officials have asked since the pandemic began for more detailed data to be released than case counts by a health authority. Dr. Henry says this data can now be made available as it won’t identify anyone person that has tested positive for COVID-19.