Four-hour wait time to book child’s COVID test concerns Kelowna parent

Four-hour wait time to book child’s COVID test concerns Kelowna parent

Interior Health is asking for patience as they experience an increase in calls and testing requests

A Kelowna parent is worried that Interior Health (IH) is getting overwhelmed by the number of students needing COVID-19 testing.

The parent, who wished not to be named, said one of his two children developed a cough over the weekend.

Having been told that students must be kept at home and tested if they have COVID-19-like symptoms by the Central Okanagan School District, the parent called the Kelowna testing centre at 9:33 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 21.

But by 1:15 p.m., he was still on hold trying to book a test appointment for his child.

He said he’s worried about when flu season comes around when more students will need to be tested to ensure they don’t have COVID-19.

The health authority confirmed that since schools opened up again in the Central Okanagan, there has been an increase in call volumes and testing for COVID-19, but appointments remain within 24 hours after booking an appointment. IH added it will expand the testing centre’s hours if necessary to avoid long wait times.

“The Urgent and Primary Care Centre testing site remains consistently busy but we do have the capacity to handle requests for testing,” read a statement from Interior Health.

As for long wait times on the phone, the health authority is urging people to wait on the line and if they cannot get through immediately to hang-up and try again in an hour or so.

“There are times when the phone lines are really busy because a large number of people all call at the same time… sometimes, people may need to wait to get through and at other times of the day, people get through more quickly,” stated Interior Health. “Our teams are working hard to ensure everyone gets their appointments and tests as quickly as possible.”

The school district explained it is working closely with IH to ensure staff and students get tested at an appropriate time without taking resources away from other residents who also need to get tested.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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