Submitted by Northern Health

The Northern Health region continues to experience relatively high rates of COVID-19 activity, and NH Public Health case and contact management (contact tracing) teams continue to adjust the process for notifying, monitoring and clearing cases from self-isolation requirements.

Changes in December 2020 improved the timeline for follow-up with newly lab-confirmed cases, and with people who tested positive for COVID-19 in high-priority groups. December’s shift focused resources on detailed contact tracing for cases related to high-priority settings and circumstances, such as known clusters and outbreaks, health care workers, school communities, industrial projects and Indigenous communities. This work continues.

To further streamline and improve the process, Northern BC residents who test positive for COVID-19 will now receive a single call from Public Health, during which they will be given self-isolation instructions including the date their self-isolation will end. A second call, confirming the end of self-isolation, will no longer be made. This change brings NH in line with other health authorities’ approach to case follow up.

Northern BC residents who receive a message with a COVID-19 positive test result, should self-isolate immediately, along with those in their household, and advise their close contacts outside of the household that they should self-monitor for symptoms. Public Health will be in contact; it is important to note that with rapid options for receiving COVID-19 test results (text or SMS), many people will know their result before they get a call from Public Health.

For more information for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, and their close contacts, please visit this page on the Northern Health website.

As always, Northern Health encourages everyone to adhere to current provincial guidelines and restrictions. If you are experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms, we continue to ask that you self-isolate, and contact your primary care provider or the NH COVID-19 Virtual Clinic and Information Line at 1-844-645-7811.

(Edited for length and clarity)