The COVID-19 testing site in Chilliwack was seeing an obvious surge in demand on Monday morning (Sept. 21, 2020) with a lineup that wrapped around the block. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress file)

Fraser Health confirms expanded COVID-19 testing services coming

Long lines, several days waiting list as demand for testing surges in region

Fraser Health says they are looking at expanding COVID-19 testing services in the health region, following a surge in demand last week.

On Sept. 21, the wait time for a COVID-19 test in Chilliwack was about three and a half hours, at times with more than 100 people lined up around the block. In Abbotsford and Mission, those wanting testing done were being booked for two days later.

Fraser Health (FHA) says they are continually looking at ways to meet the needs of the communities in their region, and that increased services could happen soon.

“We apologize for any delays people may be experiencing at our COVID-19 test collection centres due to the significant demand we have been seeing throughout our region,” FHA stated via an email in response to a Chilliwack Progress story about the long waits.

READ MORE: COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

“Many Fraser Health COVID-19 test collection centres, including Chilliwack, have seen a surge in demand in recent weeks. We are working very hard to make COVID-19 assessment and testing available to every person who needs it, and we are monitoring the daily volumes at each assessment and testing centre to ensure we can continue to do so.”

The services were previously expanded, and FHA confirmed they are “planning further enhancements over the coming days and weeks to help ensure people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can quickly receive a COVID-19 test and an assessment if they need one.”

That will include increasing staffing at some locations, as well as extending operating hours.

“We are currently working to increase staffing at the Chilliwack test collection centre, and increasing our hours of operation to include weekends,” they said.

Fraser Health’s 10 COVID-19 assessment and testing centres are mostly in partnership with local Divisions of Family Practice. They suggeset using the online booking system that allows people to book at their Surrey, Langley, and Burnaby test collection centres. Other communities will be added to the system soon, they added.

Fraser Health has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Chilliwack’s numbers have been low. Just four cases were confirmed in the city throughout August, while that number was 100 in Abbotsford.

READ MORE: Chilliwack children can get tested locally, Fraser Health confirms


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusFraser Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

World War II veteran, and former POW, Hans Andersen is seen at his home in Maple Ridge Oct. 21, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
WWII veteran Hans Andersen recalls his time fighting in Europe

99-year-old Maple Ridge resident places a wreath at Cloverdale Cenotaph each year

Fraser Health Authority closed Valhalla Distribution/MSJ Distribution in Delta on Oct. 3, 2020 after 23 employees at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. (Google Maps screenshot)
Fraser Health says outbreaks over at Surrey meat-processing facility, Delta distribution centre

Health authority says it worked with facilities ‘to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies’

Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

This Halloween display by a Maple Ridge family, seen here Oct. 31 in the 23600 block of 119 Avenue, has been the target of social media complaints that it is racially insensitive. (Black Press Media)
Halloween gallows display by B.C. family slammed as racially insensitive by social media critics

Refers to medieval times, not Black lynchings, says man responsible

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Hay bales can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Straw bales used for Halloween decor can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society

Langley animal facility said they are always need in of fresh bedding

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Most Read