More than a month since the first case was reported, Interior Health has declared the COVID-19 community cluster in the broader Salmo area contained.
Interior Health said a total of 25 COVID-19 cases were connected to the cluster in the Salmo region extending south from Nelson.
“I’d like to thank local elected officials, family physicians, public health, clinic staff, businesses and residents for working hard to limit the spread of COVID-19 once this cluster was identified,” ,” said Interior Health president and CEO, Susan Brown.
“Containing this cluster shows when everyone pulls together and follows public health guidance we can limit the spread of COVID-19
Interior Health said all cases associated with the cluster received appropriate follow-up and have recovered and contacts of each confirmed case were identified through contact tracing and also received direction from public health.
The majority of the cluster cases were linked to several social events that occurred in Salmo at the end of October and early November.
“Containing this cluster demonstrates the effectiveness of our investigations and contact tracing whether it relates to a single case or a cluster of cases,” Dr. Goodison, medical health officer.
“Our medical health officers, epidemiology team, communicable disease unit, and public health staff remain dedicated to reducing COVID-19 exposures in all our communities.
“Everyone has a role to play in a community’s overall health, especially when it comes to COVID-19.”
No exposures were identified in a school setting in Salmo. IH reports school cases on our public website (https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/school-exposures/).
The end of the cluster does not mean people in Salmo and other rural communities should let down their guard. Everyone in in all communities should remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions and current public health orders:
- Keep to your household bubbles and avoid social gatherings.
- Limit all non-essential travel.
- Stay home when you are sick and get tested if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID (see below).
- Practise physical distancing and use a mask if you cannot.
- Wash your hands often.
Meanwhile, in Revelstoke, Interior Health is reporting 49 cases in total since a community outbreak in that city.
Currently there are 23 active cases that are self-isolating.
Interior Health said 26 other individuals have recovered and three additional cases have been confirmed since Monday with contact tracing completed for each of those cases.
“The smaller number of new cases this week is encouraging – a drop off like this is what we want to see after we have completed our initial investigation and have connected with those we have identified as close contacts to original cases,” said Dr. Goodison.
“However, we do anticipate new cases for a week or two after a cluster is declared, so nobody should be letting down their guard in Revelstoke right now.”
Dr. Goodison said Interior Health continues to see a significant number of new cases every day and these are impacting rural communities as well as our larger centres.
“IH environmental health officers are in Revelstoke providing additional guidance and direction to local businesses given the new orders that are in place,” Dr. Goodison said.
Dr. Goodison said Interior Health is cautiously optimistic about our progress and we urge everyone to continue to follow all public health guidance and orders.
“Working together, we can contain this cluster and prevent further cases of COVID-19 in the Revelstoke region,” he said.
Friday, Interior Health reported a total of 81 new COVID-19 cases in the region, with 633 active and on isolation.
The province announced 711 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths.
Interior Health said there are 16 people in hospital and four in ICU.
Four people in Interior Health have died from COVID-19.