To date, there have been 107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health. As of 3:00 p.m. on March 31, there were 1,013 identified cases in BC.
• 476 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
• 348 cases in Fraser Health
• 107 cases in Interior Health (this is an increase of 13 cases since yesterday)
• 67 cases in Island Health
• 15 cases in Northern Health
The five deaths since Monday is the highest number of fatalities in one day since the beginning of the outbreak. It brings the total death rate in BC to 24. All but one of the people who have died from the virus have been residents of long-term care homes, and most were in their 70s or 80s. We have no COVID related deaths in the Interior region to date.
As of March 30, 2020, 86% of new COVID-19 cases are reported as community transmission. The term community transmission means that the source of infection for the spread of an illness is unknown or a link in terms of contacts between patients and other people is missing. In other words, we don’t know where they got COVID-19 from, and we don’t know how many others were infected by the same source.
Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry said Interior Health is investigating "our first large community outbreak which involves a group of temporary foreign workers in housing at a West Kelowna agricultural business." Seventy-five of Bylands Nursery’s workers are involved. 14 have tested positive. They closed for business, and all their workers are under quarantine.
The business is Bylands Nursery.
Minister Adrian Dix said there was a "zero" chance that some of the restrictions on work, travel and socializing will be lifted before the end of April and "little to none in May." (Even mid June) He is asking all of us to be 100% committed. There are concerns that the second wave of the pandemic will hit us by fall. While disappointing, this is not unexpected when looking at the disease trajectory in other countries that have managed to flatten the curve. Of all the places in the world to be while in isolation, I’m so happy to be in Creston.
Interior Health asks that all pediatric populations (infants up to 18 years of age) be advised to avoid coming to health care facilities unless absolutely necessary. Children are presenting with generally mild symptoms. However, children with mild or absent symptoms who are positive for the virus are still able to transmit the virus to others. Signs and symptoms may include fever, new onset/exacerbation of chronic cough, pneumonia, diarrhea, nausea.
Health Care professionals are asked to treat all pediatric patients with fever as COVID-19 positive until they definitively test otherwise.
To date, children have rarely presented with severe symptoms, although children with chronic conditions may be at increased risk. As of March 30, within Canada, 4% of COVID-19 cases have been in children or youth less than 19 years of age. Five of these cases have led to hospitalization with one ICU admission.
Parents, we trust your judgement - if you think your child is sick with more than just a cold, please seek medical care.
#1: Phone 811 and speak to a Health Nurse; then
#2: Contact your family doctor’s office for a phone or video appointment
If not available or after hours:
#3: Call the ER to let them know what’s going on — we will meet you at the door, give you a mask and take you to a safe space.
#4: Call 911 if no time for any of the above and indicated
Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging all of us to stay home and asked urban citizens not to head for their rural properties to avoid overwhelming local medical resources. Please let your cabin or holiday home stay empty for the time being. Dr. Henry also reiterated that any gathering is a danger, and we should continue to limit our interactions to the people in our immediate households.
Having said all of that: Stay well - mentally and physically. Phone your friends, read a book, play with your kids and know that no one will judge you if your children get more screen time than usual! And wash your hands, with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds!
Creston Valley Physicians and Medical staff
Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/a2LLF9eE_VI