COVID-19 outbreak at West Kelowna nursery declared over - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Sunny
17.1°C

COVID-19 outbreak at West Kelowna nursery declared over

Bylands Nursery provided food and accommodation for 63 Mexican workers isolated there for six weeks because of COVID-19.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Bylands
May 11, 2020 - 11:58 AM

The 63 Mexican workers who have been in isolation at Bylands Nurseries in West Kelowna since the end of March were released from their COVID-19 lockdown today.

Bylands Nurseries carried out enhanced cleaning of all nursery, housing, sanitary and other facilities accessed by employees. The business is ready to resume full operations, in compliance with the measures laid out for all businesses by the B.C. provincial health officer, Interior Health said today, May 11.

Two of the temporary foreign workers went to Kelowna General Hospital on March 28 after falling sick. They both tested positive for the virus and since they were living in different houses, Interior Health ordered that all 63 Mexican and 12 Canadians workers go into quarantine.

After a second outbreak of three more workers in April, the isolation period was extended for another four weeks for the Mexican workers. In all, they were in isolation for six weeks but some were allowed to work in the fields.

“They were treated as if all of them were exposed and potentially could become sick in the following weeks,” Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema said during a news conference today.

“We felt it was important for the workers and their mental health – we knew that this was going to be a long ride in terms of how long the outbreak was going to last – we felt it was important for them to be able to go out and do the work they were supposed to be doing.”

Strict conditions were put in place to make sure they did not come in contact with other members of the community and given the fact that no other cases of COVID-19 were traced to these workers, that showed those restrictions were effective, Mema said.

She believes some of the workers who arrived on March 12 brought the disease with them. That was before 14-day quarantines were required of all foreign travellers.

All other temporary foreign workers that have come into the Okanagan since then have been quarantined in Vancouver for 14 days so no others have been tested for COVID-19 by Interior Health.

Along with the temporary foreign workers program, hundreds of other farm and silviculture workers are coming to B.C. this spring. Mema said that strict precautions have been put in place at worker camps to try to identify any COVID-19 cases as quickly as possible and to prevent the spread of the disease if it appears.

"None of the workers were in roles that interacted with customers and members of this group had very minimal contact in the community," stated an Interior Health news release. "Bylands Nurseries carried out enhanced cleaning of all nursery, housing, sanitary and other facilities accessed by employees.The business is ready to resume full operations, in compliance with the measures laid out for all businesses by the B.C. provincial health officer."


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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile