Staff at a medical clinic in Revelstoke say that small city in B.C.’s Interior has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
In a social media post on Tuesday, the Selkirk Medical Group said the local news cycle was abuzz that visiting heli-skiers had tested positive upon returning to their country, and that they may have unwittingly exposed others to the disease during their time in Revelstoke.
“We would like to encourage and support Revelstokians,” the clinic said. “This was inevitable.”
The post went on to say that there is no evidence of community transmission, since this case relates to international travel.
“As a community, we are in this together,” the post said. “We cannot more strongly stress the importance of each person’s role in flattening the curve by reducing contact with each other through social distancing and self isolation.”
Selkirk Medical Group confirmed the social media post was authentic to Global News on Wednesday morning.
Revelstoke, which has a population of approximately 7,000, is in southeastern B.C., about 460 kilometres from Vancouver, and 100 kilometres east of Salmon Arm.
“Because this is a pandemic, it is reasonable to expect more COVID-19 cases in our town,” said the post. “Cases are increasing across the province.”
It’s not known if this is a new case of coronavirus within the region or one of the seven existing cases.
When releasing information on coronavirus cases in B.C., provincial health authorities only release the region where a person lives, and not a specific city.
Earlier this week, Conservative MP Dan Albas, who represents a riding in the Okanagan, called on B.C. health officials to be more transparent about coronavirus cases in the region.
In an email to Global News, Interior Health said it will not discuss specific cases of COVID-19 or where they may or may not be located.
“Each time there is a positive test in B.C., public health connects with anyone who may have come into contact with the case so they are aware and can be monitored for symptoms,” said Interior Health.
“The provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has explained that she will not be identifying the specific location of confirmed cases unless public health providers cannot be certain they have reached all those who need to be contacted and who, therefore, might be a risk to the public.
“We want people who have symptoms to contact us, and to feel safe contacting us, knowing their privacy will be protected so the steps to protect the health and safety for all can be taken. This is why privacy is important to everyone. It allows public health providers to do the work they need to do to keep everybody safe.”