LETTER – Island Health’s COVID-19 testing call centre inefficient at best

Getting through to call centre a frustrating experience

Dear editor,

I would like to point out a failure in the Vancouver Island Health system’s COVID-19 test booking procedure.

My 17-year-old son has had symptoms of COVID for the past five days, I have been trying desperately to get him a test for the past four. I have been directed to call the COVID-19 testing call centre at 1-844-901-8442 in order to make an appointment. This number is useless as it tells you to call back due to high call volumes and then disconnects you. I have called upwards of 45 times. When I tried to make an appointment through my health care provider, (after waiting two days to get a phone appointment with him) I was again told to use this number. I also spoke with a representative at VIHA and consulted their website which directed me to set up a test via my doctor. After confirming that my son should have a COVID test however, my doctor and their office are in the dark as to how to go about setting up a test.

I am in contact with several elderly people and now am very concerned for their welfare.

To say the least, this is a very disappointing and alarming breakdown in practical protocols with regard to disease prevention.

Jacqueline Lambeth,


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Comox Valley Record