Turnaround of testing results for Central Okanagan school students remains a concern for many parents, according to the Central Okanagan Teachers Association. (File photo)

Delays in COVID testing for Central Okanagan students persist

The Central Okanagan Teachers Association has raised the issue twice at the board of education meetings in the last month

  • Oct. 17, 2020 12:00 p.m.

Concerns about delays in COVID-19 testing since school resumed in September continue to percolate at the Central Okanagan Board of Education meetings.

Susan Bauhart, president of the Central Okanagan Teachers Association (COTA), brought up the issue at the Oct. 15 board of education meeting, after raising the question at an earlier board meeting last month.

Bauhart said COTA has been hearing complaints from parents about delays in getting the results of tests done on their kids, having to burn up sick days while their children remained at home until being cleared and spending hours on the phone waiting to make a connection to schedule the test.

Bauhart said the belief was test results would be completed within 48 hours, but parents are reporting having to wait four or five days for those results.

READ MORE: Four-hour wait time to book COVID test challenged

READ MORE: Interior Health prepared for pandemic breakouts in schools

“Delays in testing are huge issues for any worker, not just teachers but anyone who has to stay home from work in that situation, ” Bauhart said.

The board of education had no response to Bauhart’s query, but Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent/CEO Kevin Kaardal said he would raise the issue in his weekly meeting with Interior Health (IH) staff to discuss the current status of COVID-19 in schools.

“So far we have been lucky not to have (COVID) exposure, but it will come,” Kaardal said.

The Kelowna Capital News made inquiries with IH after Bauhart first raised the issue last month. Our questions were referred to the ministries of health and education, along with comments made on the topic by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

In a statement to the Capital News, a health authority spokesperson said the latest data at that time showed tests still coming back within 20-32 hours, the longest time being 32 hours in recent weeks.

A further IH statement read: “Periodically, testing surges occur as we have seen recently. When they do, the BC CDC absorbs some of our testing demand to prevent delays in results. Courier runs are increased to match demand and we have not seen any change to our turnaround time.

“Urgent testing, including potential school exposures, continues to be done locally.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

MLA Dan Ashton (Contributed)
Penticton MLA won’t seek leadership of B.C. Liberals

Dan Ashton believes a moderate leader with broad appeal is needed

DriveBC camera.
Vehicle into ditch on Highway 97C

The crash happened about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Most Read