Test site

A security guard and nurse greet a woman outside the Penticton Health Centre on Thursday. The facility is serving as a referral-only COVID-19 testing site.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 are now being tested in isolation at the Penticton Health Centre.

Four hours are being set aside for testing after the facility’s usual close of business, but only for people who have been referred there by a primary care provider or a nurse via the 811 health line.

New guidelines in place limit testing to those who fit certain criteria, such as those who are healthcare workers, hospitalized or likely to be hospitalized, residents of long-term care facilities and those who are part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak.

The testing centre opened in Penticton this week. Herald reporters observed several patients tend to show up every 20 minutes or so.

Ten such referral-only testing locations have been established in the Interior Health region. The site in Kelowna is a drive-thru operation near the Capri Mall.