Fewer needles are being found in Vernon but that may because of cleanup programs. (photo submitted)

Fewer needles found

Fewer hypodermic needles are being found in Vernon streets and parks but the problem hasn’t gone away.

Council was told Monday that the city’s ambassador program has recorded a five-year low when it comes to picking up needles, also known as sharps.

“This is good news,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council, in her report.

“There may not be less needles but maybe we are having a better effort with cleanup.”

There is a monthly cleanup of needles in the community which includes members of the street population, while some businesses have also started collecting sharps.

“We know where the hot spots have been and we’re targeting the hot spots,” said Sharkey.

Sharps containers have also been distributed in the homeless camps.

Just a follow up from Councillor Anderson’s question on the risk of infection from discarded needles:

What are the health risks to the community for improperly discarded needles?

Sharkey says she understands the concerns residents have about finding needles, but says the health risk is limited.

“There’s been no reported transmission of those diseases (HIV and hepatitis C) through a needle in a park in Canada,” she said.

“In general, a needle stick injury runs the risk of contracting HIV at 0.3 per cent and hep C at three per cent, and only if the needle contains that virus and the virus is still active. This is only under perfect circumstances including factors such as viral load, temperature and time since use.”

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Traffic delays between Vernon and Coldstream

Work on Kalamalka Lake Road may slow motorists down

Woman faces second impaired driving charge

Vernon woman came in to deal with first charge from May when a strong odour of liquor was detected

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Inmate suing Okanagan Correctional over alleged assault

Inmate claims an officer grabbed him by the throat and threw him onto the bed

Most Read