'Ick factor' in Vernon tests

The Vernon Health Unit’s indoor Covid-19 testing facility has the “ick factor” big time.

Is it wise to funnel symptomatic people of the region through a single narrow hallway? Outdoor, roadside testing was so much less icky.

Your child or family member has a sore throat, headache or cough. You want them tested for Covid-19 so their school or work place can know to heighten protocols and take extra care to protect the vulnerable.

Last time you got your child tested, you breezed up to a roadside test station, your child gargled and spat into a cup standing outside, near the car with a well-garbed nurse. And then you were on your way.

This time, you stand in line in the rain with several other sick, sniffling, coughing people, are asked to reach into a shared box for a medical masks, pushed through heavy doors that everyone had to touch, walk down a narrow hallway and into a small test room and then out again, feeling, well…icky.

With children now permitted to attend school with the “sniffles,” colds and the flu are circulating again at schools. If you want to do your part to track Covid, you need to submit to the ick factor at the Vernon Health Unit.

Why can’t we keep outdoor testing? Wouldn’t the trade-off in reduced sick days from disease transmission be worth the cost of a food truck-like mobile, outdoor test unit for the region?

Who makes these decisions and who do they answer to?

Why funnel all the symptomatic, sniffling, coughing, dripping and feverish people through a single narrow hallway to test them?

Linda Settler, Vernon

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