October 22, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Outbreaks of COVID have been reported in a long-term care home in northern BC

Outbreaks of COVID have been reported in a long-term care home in northern BC

Northern Health reported its first COVID-19 exposure in a long-term care home on Monday.

The same staff at Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek tested positive for COVID-19, according to a bulletin released by Northern Health Monday.

“At this time, there is no evidence of illness among staff or residents at the Rotary Manor facility,” the Northern Health Statement said. “As a precaution, (Northern Health) medical health officials have announced a facility outreach based on criteria for declaring outreach in long-term care settings.

Public health officials are working with staff at the 115-bed facility to identify those exposed and take additional measures to protect the health and comfort of residents and staff.

Additional cleaning and infection control is in place, the facility is restricting the movement of staff and residents, and there is a temporary suspension of social visits, but the necessary visits are still allowed.

All additional measures will be in effect until at least November 8, 14 days after it was revealed, the Northern Health Statement said.

The announcement comes on the same day that Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr Reka Gustafson announced 10 new cases in the Northern Health Region since the latest update on Friday. The total number of cases in the north has risen to 422 since the outbreak began.

1,120 new cases were reported Monday across BC. She said 2,945 active cases were being monitored by public health officials in BC, with 6,448 exposed.

The number of active cases in northern BC was not provided, but on Friday the BC Center for Disease Control reported 34 active cases in the northern health region. None of the patients with COVID-19 in the north were hospitalized.

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Gustafson said there were six new COVID-19-related deaths in the province on Monday, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 269 BC.

Ninety people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in BC, she said, including 19 in intensive care.

“These numbers apply to all of us,” Gustafson said. “We have a number of new infections at the moment.”

Apart from casual exposure in society, the vast majority of new infections are associated with known cases and exposures, Gustafson said. Large meetings in private homes contributed to a significant number of new cases, so the province imposed restrictions on the size of meetings.

While places like restaurants and other venues have COVID-19 security plans, she said some homeowners have large-scale meetings for safety.

“We are at an important new stage of the epidemic,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “The tides of COVID-19 are rising. I urge everyone … to get themselves back to work.”