British Columbia’s main private lab service provider is the latest to experience staffing problems due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
LifeLabs says it has been forced to close 11 locations and cut hours at five others because of the “spread of Omicron and related protocols that have resulted in dire consequences for workers.”
“This change was made to maintain consistent and reliable service for our customers and reduce the increased pressure on our teams,” the company said in a statement on its website.
“To maintain service in the community, we will redeploy affected personnel (from those locations) to nearby, central locations. Customers and caregivers are being diverted to those nearby locations.”
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LifeLabs has 129 locations in British Columbia.
Global News has asked the Department of Health for comment on whether and how the shutdowns could affect COVID or other essential medical testing.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has previously warned companies to expect up to a third of their workforce to be immediately ill or isolated as the fifth wave of the pandemic reaches its peak.
Airlines, restaurants and other sectors have already stopped services due to staffing problems.
The locations affected by temporary closures are:
- Surrey City Center (#103 9639 137A Street, Surrey)
- Nicola (202-321 Nicola Street, Kamloops)
- Pitt Meadows (102-12195 Harris Road, Pitt Meadows)
- Crestwood (107-6051 Gilbert Road, Richmond)
- Yarrow (650 Fort Street, Victoria)
- Hill (1641 Hill, Victoria)
- Aberdeen (1150-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond)
- Main and Keefer (204-180 Keefer Street, Vancouver)
- Broadway (220-943 W. Broadway, Vancouver)
- Lynn Vallet (305-1200 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver)
- Laurel (104-888 W. 8th Avenue, Vancouver)
The locations where the opening hours apply are:
- Abbotsford (A8 33498 Bevan Avenue, Abbotsford)
- Cedar Hill (1590 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria)
- Kerrisdale (2061 W. 42nd Avenue, Vancouver)
- Burrard (208-1200 Burrard Street, Vancouver)
- Colwood (582 Goldstream, Victoria)
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