West Kelowna nursery workers face total of six weeks of isolation due of COVID-19 - InfoNews

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West Kelowna nursery workers face total of six weeks of isolation due of COVID-19

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April 21, 2020 - 5:00 PM

The three cases of COVID-19 that were detected last week amongst 63 Mexican workers at Bylands Nurseries in West Kelowna means all of them are facing a total of six weeks in isolation.

Those temporary foreign workers, along with 12 local workers, were ordered into isolation on March 28 after 14 cases of the disease were confirmed. That number grew to 20 over the next few days.

The 12 local workers were able to isolate themselves at home and have now been cleared to return to work after the 14 days, which is the standard rule for people who can be properly isolated at home.

Different rules applied to the larger group who were in more communal housing which included five houses and 11 trailers.

“When there is an outbreak, we treat things a little different,” Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema, told iNFOnews.ca today, April 21. “This is also what we do when we have a long-term care outbreak in a nursing home. We don’t say 14 days. We say two incubation periods.”

The plan was always to keep them in isolation for 28 days since some were living in areas where they shared bathrooms and kitchen spaces and may have interacted with each other, or did not clean as well as they were advised to.

Those who tested positive were isolated in the homes owned by Bylands or in hotels. Someone in the other group was likely infected but did not have symptoms and spread the disease, Mema speculated.

They are now being isolated for two more incubation periods, another 28 days, from the date the three new cases were confirmed, which was April 14. They won’t be cleared until mid-May, as long as no more cases surface.

Those who do not have symptoms are able to return to work but only in their household groups and cannot be in contact with anyone else.

Mema said there’s no need to keep them confined to their rooms for six weeks and that would not be good for their mental health as some are feeling anxious already.

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