Dr. Bonnie Henry calls COVID-19 epidemic in Kelowna, British Columbia “cause for concern”, says more cases are expected – Okanagan

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British Columbia’s highest health official is concerned about the coronavirus outbreak in Kelowna.At an unexpected press conference regarding recent coronavirus outbreaks in British Columbia on Friday, provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry announced that 35 cases are now associated with the Kelowna outbreak.

A week ago, Interior Health announced a coronavirus advisory for downtown Kelowna after eight people tested positive after two private parties over the Canada Day weekend.

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That number rose to 13 on July 13 and has since increased.

“This is one of the issues of greatest concern to us, as we recognize that there have been a number of events that have taken place there,” Henry said.

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“We need people to start thinking about how we can safely socialize over the next few weeks.”

Henry said the province predicts there will be “more cases in the days to come, as people who have been exposed are now starting to develop symptoms.”








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She added that Interior Health works closely where things happened and follows people.

“As you know, with this virus, once you’ve been exposed there is nothing we can do to stop you from developing the disease,” Henry said.

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“We just have to wait and make sure that if you get sick, that you don’t pass it on to others. And that’s how we break these chains of transmission.










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During the media question and answer period, Henry was asked about the Kelowna outbreak.

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“Unfortunately, the incubation period is 14 days,” Henry said. “We had the first cluster of cases that we found last week, and then we found the people they were in contact with, so it’s the second generation.

“These people are now starting to get sick. On average, people start to get sick after being exposed from day 5 to day 7. So we are now in the third generation of people they have been in contact with.

“So if we can find everyone quickly, we can prevent the next generation from being exposed. “










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Meanwhile, the province also announced 28 new cases, bringing British Columbia’s total to 3,198 – including 235 in the domestic health region.

Of this total, 2,802 have recovered and 207 cases are active.

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No new deaths have been reported, but there are 18 people in the hospital, an increase of three, including two in intensive care.

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As for an outbreak in the South Okanagan, there are now four cases in the Krazy Cherry Fruit Company farm outbreak.

Henry said two temporary foreign workers and two family members who operate the farm have tested positive. She also said the outbreak was thought to be linked to Kelowna.

Henry also spoke about how the province and Interior Health are working with the City of Kelowna “and the communities of the central Okanagan to make sure we can help people enjoy the rest of the summer safely.”










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She also said, “While public teams have been extremely effective in identifying and containing transmission, these outbreaks in our communities across the province are cause for concern. It is not necessarily unexpected, but it is a warning to us that we must do more to maintain balance.

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“This is one of the reasons why I felt it was important to speak today.”

Henry said many of the new cases are people in their 20s and 30s, and the transmission of COVID-19 is directly linked to social events.

“We know that coming together helps us feel connected and hopeful during these difficult times,” said Henry. “And we want to be able to continue doing it.”

She said that typically the symptoms of the coronavirus in younger people are less noticeable, but “they can still spread the virus to others,” then asked them “to socialize safely.”

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