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Northern Health COVID-19 outbreak, exposure data available online

BCCDC also listing regional case numbers
Northern Health. (via Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters)

Northern Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) are now making exposure, outbreak and regional COVID-19 case numbers available online. 

Northern Health says as a precaution, the authority will list locations and times of known possible exposures to COIVD-19 in the region online.

"The possible exposures listed on this site are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, Public Health asks anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms," the website reads. 

"There is no known risk to anyone who attended any listed locations outside of the specified dates and times. If people remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and people can continue with their usual daily activities. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, please self isolate and contact the COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line for Northern BC residents: 1-844-645-7811, or contact your primary care provider."

Currently, there are no exposure events listed on Northern Health's site. Yesterday (July 23), eight new cases were announced in northern B.C., but are not listed as exposure or outbreak because the cases were related to travel and exposure events outside of the authority and no immediate public concern. 

Spokesperson Eryn Collins says those who have tested positive are currently self-isolating at home as contact-tracing work continues.

“Close contacts of confirmed cases would be informed by public health officials, and supported in any actions they should take, such as self-monitoring or self-isolating,” she told PrinceGeorgeMatters.

“And, as always - regardless of where cases are, everyone should be practicing the public health guidance and advice for preventing spread of the virus.”

Exposure and outbeak events will include city/town, location, address, potential exposure date and potential exposure time.

The BCCDC is also now listing COVID-19 cases by Health Service Delivery Area

In the past two weeks, the Northwest region has had 11 confirmed cases, the Northeast has one and the Northern Interior, which includes Prince George, has had none.

From Jan. 1 to July 23, the Northwest region has recorded 25 confirmed cases, the Northeast has seen 16 cases and the Northern Interior region sits at 36.

Since day one, Dr. Bonnie Henry has explained that cities are only listed when there is a large outbreak and/or exposure has occurred such as the ongoing outbreak in Kelowna, which has roughly 1,000 people in isolation across the province as a result. 

covid19_hsda_20200723(via BC Centre for Disease Control)

Collins adds none of the new cases in the north are linked to recent outbreaks in Kelowna, however, Dr. Henry said earlier that people in every B.C. health region are self-isolating as a precaution.

The BCCDC says, as of Thursday, Northern Health has now tested 3.4 per cent of its population; that’s 9,710 out of 285,524 confirmed residents.

Since the pandemic struck B.C., as of publication date, there are 77 positive cases recorded within Northern Health. 

On July 16, when Northern Health’s 37-day streak of zero COVID-19 cases ended with three new ones reported, Dr. Henry said they were in three different communities, two were related to travel and one was ‘out-of-province.’

"Important for everyone to know that individuals who are not close contacts (those who have not been in direct, face to face contact for prolonged periods with an infectious case) do not need to self-isolate, as the risk of infection is very low,” Collins added.

- with files from Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters