17 people now infected with COVID-19 after private parties in Kelowna - InfoNews

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17 people now infected with COVID-19 after private parties in Kelowna

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
July 14, 2020 - 4:14 PM

The number of people with COVID-19 identified from private parties in Kelowna around Canada Day has risen to 17, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“A group of people who knew each other met up in Kelowna,” Dr. Henry said today, July 14, during a COVID-19 media briefing. “Some were from Interior Health, some were from Alberta and some were from the Lower Mainland. It was a single group and it was introduced in that group. As far as I’m aware, the number of cases is at 17 but not all are people who reside in the Interior.”

There were three new cases in the Interior Health region over the last 24 hours but she did not say if they were connected to the activities that took place in Kelowna between June 25 and July 6.

She stressed if people are having parties where they invite people they don’t know well, they still should get contact information so they can be traced if necessary, but she rejected a suggestion that indoor gatherings be banned.

“I don’t believe it’s good to shut things down because that just moves things underground,” she said.

The three new cases in Interior Health were part of a total of 13 new cases in B.C. in the last 24 hours, bringing the provincial total to 3,128, including 212 in Interior Health.

There were no new deaths which means 189 people have died of COVID-19 so far during the pandemic.

There have been 1,649 cases in the Fraser Health region, 1,015 in Vancouver Coastal, 135 on Vancouver Island, 65 in the Northern Health region and 52 foreign visitors.

So far, 2,730 people have recovered. There are 14 people are in hospital and five in intensive care.

Health Minister Adrian Dix pointed out that there have been record numbers of new cases in a number of nearby states, including California, Washington and Oregon. He praised the federal government for negotiating an extension of the ban on non-essential travel across the U.S.- Canada border until Aug. 21, at least.

He noted that a number of jurisdictions are going into a second phase of lockdown, which he referred to as “Lockdown 2.0. That’s not happening here because of B.C.’s unique approach to the pandemic, which focussed on preventive behaviour rather than massive lockdowns.

Given how COVID-19 is showing a resurgence in other areas, he stressed the need to continue with precautions.

“Along the way in our B.C. pandemic, in our efforts to stop the spread, we’ve learned that indecision is the acquaintance of COVID-19, inconsistency is its friend and bad decisions are its closest allies,” he said. “COVID-19 finds those gaps and it pounces.”

Dr. Henry said the 25 new cases recorded in one day over the weekend were near the limit of her comfort level in terms of maintaining the current level of restrictions that have allowed for more travel and more businesses to reopen.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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