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Fifth COVID-19 case linked to Kelowna, B.C. church outbreak

Click to play video 'Kelowna church attendees told to self-isolate' Kelowna church attendees told to self-isolate
WATCH: Some members of a Kelowna religious congregation are in self-isolation after five COVID-19 cases were identified connected to the church. The outbreak is shining a spotlight on the challenges faced by faith groups wanting to hold worship services during the pandemic. – Sep 28, 2020

Five people have now tested positive for COVID-19 after a coronavirus outbreak at a Kelowna, B.C., church.

The outbreak occurred at Calvary Chapel on Benvoulin Road, according to Interior Health.

Anyone who attended services on Sept. 20 is directed to self-isolate until Oct. 4, the health agency said.

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Initially, people who attended services on Sept. 13 were asked to self-monitor or self-isolate, depending on the room within the property where they participated in services.

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“We want to thank the church community for the co-operation being shown as we work to limit this exposure,” Interior Health said.

“We are aware that physical distancing and other safety precautions were in place, which is important to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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There are no exposure concerns within the Kelowna Christian School community, the health agency said.

The church said it has suspended all in-person meetings due to the outbreak. Sunday service will be broadcast live online. 

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The Calvary Chapel said it was first notified on Sept. 23 that someone at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sept. 13 had tested positive for the virus, and it immediately notified all people who were in attendance and who may have come in contact with the infected individual.

“We lift up in prayer all those who are sick, and pray for their rapid recovery. We pray, too, for those who are in isolation, and those who are awaiting test results,” a statement from the church said.

Health officials said that this is the only outbreak currently declared in the Okanagan, and that this is Interior Health’s first outbreak related to a faith-based organization.

The health agency said testing is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

Other milder symptoms may include: runny nose, fatigue, body aches (muscles and joints aching), diarrhea, headache, sore throat, vomiting and red eyes.

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Anyone with mild symptoms should call their primary care provider, or the closest Interior Health community testing and assessment centre to seek testing.

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