Interior Health has declared the COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke contained.
A total of 50 COVID-19 cases were connected to this cluster.
“This remains a time for caution and vigilance with the overall cases we are seeing in Interior Health, but it is important to recognize Revelstoke residents, businesses, elected officials and health care teams for their collective efforts in reducing local spread and containing this cluster,” said Interior Health president and CEO, Susan Brown.
COVID-19 cases are still soaring across the province with 28 deaths – the highest number in a 24-hour period since the start of the pandemic in March – were announced on Dec. 10.
A total of 587 people have now died in B.C. as a result of COVID-19.
“We can reduce the risk of exposure in our communities if everyone is doing their part in taking the ongoing measures from our public health leaders and teams,” said Brown.
There are 9,524 active cases in B.C, the vast majority of which at 7,043 are in the Lower Mainland.
B.C. aims to have 400,000 people, just under 10 per cent of the province’s population, vaccinated by the end of March, 2021. Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in B.C. by next week.
All cases associated with the Revelstoke cluster have received appropriate follow-up, said Interior Health. Contacts of each confirmed case were identified through contact tracing and also received direction from public health.
“Our public health teams remain dedicated to limiting exposures to COVID-19,” said Dr. Goodison, medical health officer. “We were fortunate to keep cases in Revelstoke away from our most vulnerable populations, but COVID-19 continues to have devastating impacts to individuals and families across B.C. We know how challenging our current restrictions are. We cannot lose sight that these public health measures are in place to protect us and those we love.”
On Dec. 11, the province said it will release the number of COVID-19 cases to the community level once per week, instead of once per month.
Prior to Nov. 1, there were only three confirmed COVID-19 cases in Revelstoke since January. However, 22 cases were reported by Nov. 24, which forced Interior Health to declare a local community cluster. In a press conference earlier this month, the premier said many of the cluster cases were linked to non-essentual travel.
Although Interior Health said the cluster is contained, it still expects a small number of COVID-19 cases in Revelstoke to arise. However, the end of cluster does not mean people should let down their guard. The agency said everyone in the community should remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions and current public health order, which include wearing masks and staying within your household bubble.
Interior Health said when there is a number of connected cases in a workplace or community, it’s categorized as a cluster. By comparison, an outbreak involves multiple cases and evidence of ongoing exposures and risks, such as outbreaks declared at long term care homes that have a high risk of transmission.
The decision to declare an outbreak lies with medical health officers and is based on their assessment of ongoing risk and how best to contain cases.