2 COVID-19 cases confirmed at Oliver farm while town hall closes due to positive staff test - InfoNews

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2 COVID-19 cases confirmed at Oliver farm while town hall closes due to positive staff test

Town of Oliver municipal offices closed today as a staff member is tested for COVID-19.
July 13, 2020 - 4:38 PM

Interior Health has confirmed two positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at a South Okanagan farm.

The health authority says in a release issued this afternoon, July 13, two farm workers at the Krazy Cherry Fruit Company in Oliver tested positive for COVID-19 recently.

One person is self-isolating at home in the community while the other person, a temporary foreign worker, is isolating at a location off the farm.

The link between the two cases has yet to be identified, however the risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low, Interior Health said.

The source of infection has yet to be determined but it is presumed both people acquired the virus in British Columbia. The temporary foreign worker tested negative following a 14-day quarantine before beginning work on the farm.

The order issued by Interior Health this afternoon applies to 36 temporary foreign workers as well as nine other individuals on the farm. All the individuals will be restricted from leaving while further testing and an investigation takes place.

Access to the farm will also be restricted to deliveries of essential supplies.

Interior Health cautions everyone to rinse fresh products like cherries under cold water and wash hands with soap and water before and after eating.

Oliver Town Hall also closed its offices to the public this morning, as a staff member is tested for COVID-19.

“One of our staff is being tested for COVID-19, and until we get the results on that, we just don’t want to open it up to the public,” chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan said.

Cowan said the town should get the results in the next day or two.

The offices closed today until further notice. The town will continue to offer services online and over the phone.

— This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. July 13, 2020, to provide additional information about farmworkers contracting COVID-19 in the Oliver area.

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