Nearly 1,000 British Columbians self isolating due to Kelowna COVID-19 exposure | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Nearly 1,000 British Columbians self isolating due to Kelowna COVID-19 exposure

Dr. Bonnie Henry July 22, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
July 22, 2020 - 3:43 PM

As a direct result of the recent community exposures in Kelowna close to 1,000 British Columbians in every health authority are self-isolating at home because they have been exposed to somebody who has been tested positive for COVID-19, the province’s top doctor said today, July 22.

“This means these people are unable to work, to see friends, to leave their home to enjoy the summer like the rest of us,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, July 22.

“So you can protect yourself and your friends and loved ones, by protecting your household bubble. Keeping those bubbles small, making sure you're not exposing lots of people, spending time with those you know, and using our layers of protection are what is going to help us control the clusters and the transmission we're seeing now."

There were 34 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. in the last 24 hours, amounting to a total of 3,362 cases to date and 285 are considered active.

Dr. Henry said that the risks within bars and nightclubs and recent links to exposures in these locations are a concern and the provincial health order has been amended to address that.

New restrictions to help control those environments are being put in place, and Dr. Henry said that the aim is to help bar and nightclub owners.

Among the regulations, all patrons of these establishments will be seated at a designated seat.

“There's no liquor self-service or dance floors and measures need to be in place to reduce lineups and gatherings and pressure points,” she said. “(Changes) have been made  to further reduce the potential of transmission in these higher risk environments.”

Dr. Henry added that she, alongside her partners at Interior Health, are looking at whether there needs to be some restrictions that are Central Okanagan specific, to address "some of the current issues."

Ultimately, the aim is to slow the upward turn of the COVID-19 curve which is going up.

“We all need to take a step back and look at the things that we need to do to bend our curve back down,” she said.

“We have proven that we know how to do this. And now, each of us needs to do our piece to make that happen. Contact tracing for three or four people is much easier and faster than trying to reach 20 or 30 people for every case that has comes up and that is the situation that we have found ourselves in.”

Today, Vancouver Coastal Health had 1,049 cases, Fraser Health had 1,742 cases, Island Health had 141, Interior Health had 304 (up from 291 yesterday) and Northern Health had 69.

In the last six days, 190 people have been infected. Hospitalization has increased from 15 to 17.


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