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Health officials probing house parties in wake of Kelowna COVID-19 exposure advisory

Health officials probing house parties in wake of Kelowna COVID-19 exposure advisory
Health officials probing house parties in wake of Kelowna COVID-19 exposure advisory

Interior Health says it is investigating “a couple of house parties” following Friday’s health warning of possible coronavirus exposure.

Issued Friday afternoon, the advisory said people who visited Kelowna between June 25th and July 6th may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The advisory said eight people who had tested positive for coronavirus had attended private gatherings and visited businesses in the downtown and waterfront areas.

Read more: Interior Health issues coronavirus advisory for downtown Kelowna, B.C.

On Saturday, medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema spoke to Global News about the advisory.

“Since yesterday, we are investigating a number of other individuals, and we are going to confirm how many individuals very briefly,” Mema said just after 3 p.m.

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“We are looking at their exposures, where they were, when they were in Kelowna, and we are identifying a couple of parties where these individuals may have converged.”

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Mema described the parties as house gatherings and private gatherings, “however, individuals that were sick were here in Kelowna while they were sick, and they have visited public spaces.”

She continued, saying, “so it’s important for everybody in Kelowna to keep their physical distance when they are out.”

Just before 5 p.m., on Saturday, Interior Health identified “two specific locations in Kelowna where individuals may recently have been exposed to COVID-19.”

The locations were identified as:

  • Discovery Bay Resort, 1088 Sunset Drive, Kelowna
  • Boyce Gyro Beach Lodge, 3591 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna

“(Interior Health) is urging anyone who attended private gatherings at the following locations on the dates noted to self-isolate and monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19, and get tested if they have symptoms,” said the public service announcement.

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“Our public health teams will continue contact tracing and where possible reach out directly to individuals who have been exposed. We are committed to notifying the public of specific locations and venues of concerns as our investigation continues.”

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Of the eight people that the advisory mentioned on Friday, six were from outside the Interior Health region, it said.

“I want to emphasize that there isn’t any particular (Kelowna) business that has been identified that’s had a case — for example, a waitress or a staff member of a particular restaurant,” Mema said.

“That’s not the case. We don’t have sick individuals who have worked in a business. And we have reviewed the safety plans of some of the businesses that have been named. And Interior Health is satisfied with those safety plans.”

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Stating that the public still needs to be cautious, Mema said “there is no one specific location that we can pinpoint where somebody could have been exposed. That’s why we went out to the public to alert them that anybody, anywhere, really, could have been exposed.”