The large COVID-19 outbreak cluster linked to activities in Kelowna over a two week period has reached Kelowna General Hospital.
In a news release late Friday afternoon, Interior Health confirmed six employees of the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, in connection with the city’s growing community cluster.
Staff who are experiencing any symptoms must stay home.
“We are confident that the individuals impacted by this current situation are following this direction,” the release states.
“At this time, there are no impacts on our services at KGH, and we have no indication that any patients have been exposed to the disease. It is important that anyone requiring medical care at the hospital feels confident in coming to KGH.”
IH has not indicated where the individuals who tested positive worked within the hospital, or what their roles are.
“As we continue to see an increase in cases related to social events and businesses in downtown Kelowna, our health team is asking everyone to work together as a community to stop the transmission of COVID-19. Don’t let it steal your summer!
“The cases that have been identified recently are generally in a younger demographic of individuals in their 20s and 30s. However, there is risk that if this continues, it may spread to people who are more vulnerable, including those who are older or who have serious health conditions.”
During her Friday briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the outbreak cluster linked to Kelowna has now resulted in 35 positive cases of COVID-19.
She expected that number to rise even further.
IH says it will update this current situation on Monday.
COVID-19: A record 941 new cases in B.C. and 10 additional deaths – Vancouver Sun
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“By talking to your children about wearing their masks in school, you can help us create that respectful culture of mask wearing,” said Mooring, who conceded that there are some staff and students who, for various reasons, can’t wear masks and some learning situations where masks are inappropriate.
Henry said Monday that students are in schools with a group of people they see day-to-day, unlike businesses where people interact with others they don’t know, necessitating wearing a mask. She did say she supports mask wearing in common areas and among adults at schools.
B.C. health officials say there are currently 10,283 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases. A further 19,605 people who tested positive have since recovered.
A total of 358 people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, while 284 people are currently being treated in hospital, including 61 who are in critical care.
The province announced two new health care facility outbreaks at Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack and Little Mountain Place care home in Vancouver, while an outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond has been declared over.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health has issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for a popular downtown Vancouver pub. The health agency says anyone who visited The Morrissey at 1227 Granville Street on either Nov. 12 or 13, between 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both days, may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Those with symptoms are advised to call their family doctor or 811, seek testing and self-isolate.
MORE TO COME
With a file from The Canadian Press
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941 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths reported as B.C. continues to shatter records – Global News
B.C. reported a record-high 941 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 10 new deaths.
The total shattered the previous daily record of 762 cases recorded last week.
Of the new cases, 678 were in the Fraser Health region and 174 were in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Coronavirus: B.C. orders all indoor group fitness activities to close immediately
The 10 deaths brought B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll to 358.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by seven to 284, a new record high. Of those, 61 are in intensive care, an increase of three from Monday when the province reported 1,933 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths over a span of three days.
Christmas events put ‘on hold’ by pandemic
There are 7,732 active cases in the province and a total of 10,283 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Earlier in the day, the province ordered all gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia to close immediately while new guidance is being developed.
B.C. releases November 2020 coronavirus modelling data
Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new orders, including a mandatory mask mandate in indoor public spaces, the extension of Lower Mainland restrictions on social gatherings and a suspension on in-person religious services.
The order put the brakes on holiday events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train or The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.
On Nov. 12, Henry released modelling data that indicated British Columbia could see more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day if people don’t cut down on contacts.
— With files from Richard Zussman
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
B.C. dance studios, other indoor group activity spaces must close amid COVID-19 restrictions – Global News
All gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia must immediately close, according to the province.
“Venues that organize or operate other types of indoor group physical activities must suspend them temporarily while new guidance is being developed,” the website reads.
“Venues must use the new guidance to update and re-post their COVID-19 Safety Plan before resuming operations.”
Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school
The new guidelines also apply to venues for pilates, strength and conditioning, and cheerleading.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health notes the province is constantly learning about the virus and updating guidance based on what we are seeing around the world, across Canada and in B.C.
“Right now we are seeing record COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations in our communities, and this is putting a strain on our testing staff, contact tracers, and frontline health-care workers,” the statement reads.
“The orders issued last week by the Provincial Health Officer are to reduce the rapid transmission we are seeing in indoor settings, including during group fitness activities.”
Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging
The new guidance is being finalized and is expected to be available this week. Facilities will not need to seek permission from local health authorities before opening, but there will be increased inspections to ensure facilities are complying with the new guidelines.
The measures are part of sweeping, and sometimes confusing, new rules that aim to cut down on social gatherings in the province.
Businesses that close due to COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible for rent support from the Government of Canada.
Dance studio operators have repeatedly expressed frustration about being shut down as part of the COVID-19 measures and many insist they have health and safety plans in place to ensure the virus does not spread.
But dance studios have also been the site of major outbreak events, include 30 cases linked to a studio in Chilliwack.
Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure
A group of dance studio owners and dance parents are supporting an online petition that calls for dance studios to be exempt from the provincial orders.
“It is unfair for us to be targeted. We have suffered from March onwards as we have navigated COVID protocols with no overseeing sports or arts organization, with decreased participation due to reluctant parents and little rent relief as it was left optional for our landlords,” petition creator Denise Akester writes.
“We have worked tirelessly to keep dance spaces safe so children can return and continue what they love. We understand that B.C. is in the middle of a health crisis and increased measures need to be taken but we also think it is unjust to ask us to shoulder this burden when we are already providing the safest environment possible and we are not responsible for the recent dramatic increase in cases.”
New research and advice from provincial health officers around the world have led B.C. officials to express concerns about indoor, group physical activities.
The province has shut down high-risk indoor group physical activities — such as spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training — indefinitely. These businesses will not be able to create a new health and safety plan for now because the province does not know how to create guidelines that would prevent transmission in these settings.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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