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More temporary foreign workers test positive for coronavirus in West Kelowna

More temporary foreign workers in West Kelowna test positive for coronavirus

Interior Health confirmed that another five temporary foreign workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in West Kelowna, bringing the total of confirmed cases up to 19.

Seventy-five workers have been impacted by an outbreak at Bylands Nurseries, including 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers, according to health officials.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak investigated at West Kelowna plant nursery

Only 27 tests have been done to date, but everybody is self-isolating, according to Interior Health.

The health authority said that there haven’t been any confirmed cases among local workers, suggesting that transmission has been limited to within the group of foreign workers.

READ MORE: Top doctor ‘not against’ widespread mask use, as B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll hits 25

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The migrant workers arrived in Kelowna from outside Canada on March 12, before any travel restrictions were in place, according to Interior Health.

Officials said that the farm workers live in good on-site housing that gives enough space for them to self-isolate safely.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 7 more cases announced in Interior Health, region’s total now 114

Bylands Nurseries said in a statement that it is co-operating with the medical health officer. It also said it’s working to ensure all sanitation processes, operational practices and employee housing situations are in line with the health authority’s recommendations.

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Health officials believe the risk of exposure to the general public is low.

None of the workers were in roles that interact with customers, and they had minimal contact within the community, according to Interior Health.

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READ MORE: Bus company halts service in B.C. to limit spread of COVID-19

Byland’s Garden Centre, a separate business from the nurseries, decided to close voluntarily, according to a news release.

Interior Health said the migrant workers living in on-site housing have been told to stay in quarantine on the property until the medical health officer says otherwise.