HealthLink 811 ringing busy amid huge increase in coronavirus calls

The B.C. government is struggling to keep up with high call volumes at HealthLink 811.

Many British Columbians have not been able to get through to the dedicated phone line because of increased call volumes.

“British Columbia’s HealthLink 811 line has experienced intermittent busy signals as call volume has increased,” a statement from the Ministry of Health reads.

“We are resolving this by adding more staff, more phone lines and a new menu option to provide a dedicated queue for calls about COVID-19.”

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has recommended British Columbians call 811 if they have COVID-19 symptoms. The nurses on the phone line will not be able to diagnose people with the virus but will be able to provide essential information.

The province is hoping to have a new call centre up and running soon. The new call centre will focus on non-coronavirus calls, while the existing call centres focus on calls related to the virus.

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