Northern Health’s Online COVID-19 Clinic and Information Line has experienced a significant increase in calls in recent weeks, leading to an increase in wait times.

“We are working to increase the size of the Clinic staffing pool, in order to increase call capacity and hours of operation, and to reduce current wait times for assessment,” explained Northern Health spokesperson, Eryn Collins.

Callers experiencing these drastic wait times do so for a number of reasons, including assessment and referral for testing and general information.

The online clinic and Information line is operated by a group of staff, nurses, physicians and nurse practitioners in Northern Health.

“We strongly encourage Northern BC residents who have a primary care provider, to contact their family doctor or nurse practitioner as the first step for assessment for testing, whenever possible,” added Collins.

Those calling with general questions on COVID-19 are encouraged to visit the Northern Health and BC Centre for Disease Control websites to avoid contributing to long wait times.