COVID-19 Pandemic – Current Status, Prevention Measures and Screening
March 16, 2020
A contagious respiratory infection called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently in a pandemic stage globally (declared March 11, 2020). The public health risk of this infection within Canada is considered to be low; however, conditions can change rapidly.
As of today, March 16th, British Columbia has 103 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths and 6 hospitalizations. All other cases remain in stable condition and are being managed at home. Canada has 324 confirmed cases of people who have contracted the virus.
Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronavirus is spread from an infected person through respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, sneezing, pneumonia in both lungs. It is diagnosed by a health care provider and can be confirmed through lab testing.
If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, you need to begin self-isolation as quickly as possible.
Support is available through Northern Health’s COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line: 1-844-645-7811. Their goal is to reduce the transmission of the infection, while reducing demand on emergency rooms.
Kitsumkalum residents experiencing symptoms may also contact Health Director Charlene Webb at 250-635-6172, 250-641-1553 or director.health@kitsumkalum.
HealthLink BC is also available for questions 24/7: 8-1-1 & 7-1-1 (for deaf and hard of hearing).
Common prevention practices for all viruses include: regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms.
To do our part in keeping the risk low, especially to vulnerable populations (elderly and those with compromised immune systems), Kitsumkalum is currently asking that all gatherings be postponed until further notice. The BC government advises that all gatherings of 50 people or more are banned and to postpone all non-essential travel.
Visit HealthLinkBC for the most up to date information on COVID-19 and the status of the pandemic: www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-
View and download this notice on our website: https://kitsumkalum.