Island Health is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to respond to COVID-19.
The situation is evolving quickly and our strategies are evolving to keep people in the communities we serve safe.
To support the Provincial Health Officer’s directions around social distancing and to ensure laboratory staff and supplies are best positioned to respond to COVID-19, Island Health is temporarily closing some lab locations and changing the hours at others.
The directives from the Provincial Laboratory EOC are:
- Reduce outpatient laboratory collection sites’ operating hours located within or next to a hospital or ambulatory care setting.
- We will coordinate operations to have a minimum of one community specimen collection site per region/community in partnership with Life Labs.
- Limit outpatient laboratory collection services for patients who require:
- Prothrombin time test: international normalized ratio (INR)
- Therapeutic drug monitoring (e.g. Digoxin, immunosuppressant drugs)
- All testing of cancer clinic patients receiving active treatment therapy
- Glucose tolerance testing for gestational diabetes (optimal assessment between 24 and 28 weeks gestation) and pregnancy related tests as per Perinatal Services BC guidelines
- Any test requisition listed as Urgent (e.g., complete blood count or any patient requiring blood work to inform treatment)
- Testing where test results will immediately impact clinical decision or care management at the discretion of the treating health care practitioner
- Standing orders for patients with chronic illness only where test results will immediately impact clinical decision or care management
- We will limit accompanying visitor(s) in adherence to our outpatient clinics visitor guidelines.
- Postpone all specimen collection of non-urgent test requests until normal service levels resume.
Effective March 24, 2020, the following Island Health Laboratories will be affected by these changes:
- Courtenay Outpatient Laboratory – Closed (Comox Valley Hospital & Courtney Life Labs locations remain open)
- St. Josephs Outpatient Laboratory – Closed (Comox Valley Hospital & Courtney Life Labs locations remain open)
- Cumberland Outpatient Laboratory – Closed (Comox Valley Hospital & Courtney Life Labs locations remain open)
- Campbell River Hospital Outpatient Laboratory – Adjusted Hours of Monday - Friday 0630-1430 and Saturday 0730-1330
- Port Hardy Hospital Outpatient Laboratory – Monday to Friday 830-1400, Closed Weekends
- Port McNeil Hospital Outpatient Laboratory – Monday to Friday 830-930, 1300-1400; Closed Weekends
- Quadra Island – Fridays Only
- Sayward – Nurse Collects Only
- Ucluelet – Will Remain Closed (Tofino General Hospital, West Coast General Hospital and Port Alberni Life Labs locations remain open)
- Nanaimo Satellite Outpatient Laboratory – Adjusted Hours of Monday - Friday 0800-1600, Saturday will remain as 715-1330
- Saanich Peninsula Hospital Outpatient Laboratory– Monday to Friday 0800-1600, Saturday - Closed
- Sidney Outpatient Laboratory – Monday to Friday 0700-1500, Saturday – Closed
- Brentwood Outpatient Laboratory – Closed (Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Sidney Outpatient Laboratory and Saanich Road Outpatient Laboratory locations remain open)
- Keating Cross Road Outpatient Laboratory – Closed (Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Sidney Outpatient Laboratory and Saanich Road Outpatient Laboratory locations remain open)
- Saanich Road Outpatient Laboratory – Monday – Friday 0800-1200
In coordination with LifeLabs, we will ensure people in all communities on Vancouver Island have an option to access lab services. These changes are only temporary and will remain in effect for an indefinite amount of time, as necessary to respond to COVID-19.
Patients with urgent needs or standing orders for lab work will be accommodated at the nearest available Island Health Outpatient Laboratory location. To ensure your patients are aware of the most recent information around hours and which location to attend, please check islandhealth.ca or call 1-877-370-8355.
We are asking people requiring non-urgent lab tests to please postpone their visits at this time until normal service levels resume. Thank you for understanding and we look forward to resuming regular operations soon.
Dr. Steve Loken | Medical Director and Department Head
Catriona Gano | Director