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More than 100 COVID-19 cases reported in last month from Nechako health area west of Prince George

Northern Health strongly urging residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines, protocols
COVID-19. (via File photo)

It’s been a busy month for Northern Health, specifically for the Nechako local health area west of Prince George where an influx of confirmed COVID-19 cases emerged.

According to the authority, 108 infections were detected in that region between Nov. 18 and Dec. 17, 65 of which are still considered active as of this publication and 33 between Dec. 9 and 15.

This has resulted in a number of school exposure events in the region, such as:

  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) - Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 30, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) - Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 25-26, 30 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) - Dec. 3-4, 2020; Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020

There have also been two public exposure events in the Fort St. James/Nak’azdli Whut’en community.

Between Nov. 12 and 25, residents may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 at either the Key Resource Centre or the Cold Weather Shelter.

BC Emergency Health Services' Major Incident Rapid Response Team was deployed to the area for eight straight days and have since left, but additional resources have been committed until Dec. 24.

The specialized unit responded to more than 100 medical emergency calls themselves between Dec. 9 and 16, some that were associated with COVID-19, as they helped with hospital transfers and local paramedics on the ground.

Northern Health says it’s closely monitoring the situation, but it’s pleading to the public to follow the guidelines, protocols and health orders.

“We need your support and commitment to act responsibly and to play your part in limiting the spread of the virus,” a statement reads this afternoon (Dec. 18).

“Practicing COVID prevention is important, no matter where in the region you live. Not all COVID-19 infected individuals are tested and reported; the virus may be circulating undetected, including in areas where no cases have been identified by public health.”

Guidelines and orders include:

  • No social gatherings of any size; social interactions and gatherings are limited to those in your immediate household only
  • Travel for essential purposes only; people should not travel to visit others, unless it is urgently required or essential
  • Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces; masks are required for everyone in all indoor public settings, workplaces and retail stores
  • Staying home if you are sick

As of this publication (Dec. 18), Northern Health has 1,465 total COVID-19 cases since March, including 401 active cases.

There are 19 people admitted into critical care among 47 hospitalizations and 1,015 recoveries.

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