Any on-reserve or off-reserve members experiencing mild flu-like symptoms can now get tested for COVID-19 at the Three Corners Health Society in Williams Lake says executive director Lori Sellars. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

COVID-19 testing available at Three Corners Health Society in Williams Lake

A testing tent was installed last week

A not-for-profit society in Williams Lake is providing a COVID-19 testing clinic for on-reserve and off-reserve members.

A brown testing tent was installed in the parking lot outside of the Three Corners Health Services Society last week.

Executive Director Lori Sellars said it was something that was needed as many Indigenous people are hesitant to go to the hospital.

“The site will be available as long as it is needed,” she said.

The chain link fence enclosing the parking lot has been made more private after slats were recently installed.

Testing services are available Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m until 4 p.m.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold, and may include coughing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Interior Health (IH) are collaborating with First Nation health service organizations in the Interior to set up specimen collection for COVID-19 within their communities, an IH spokesperson said.

An IH and FNHA testing collaborative team provides support for planning and implementing First Nation community COVID-19 testing with each community deciding on what model for testing and level of support is needed.

The spokesperson said both health authorities are working to ensure personal protective needs are met for health care providers collecting the swabs. Testing kits are provided by IH.

“This service provides increased access to testing for rural remote communities and supports testing within a community versus people having to travel to a central location.”

IH has testing sites in Williams Lake, Tatla Lake and Alexis Creek and provides outreach testing, as required, in communities along Highway 20 to Ulkatcho.

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