Large community outbreak detected in West Kelowna: health officials
VANCOUVER -- B.C. is investigating its first large community outbreak of COVID-19, which involves a group of temporary foreign workers in the Okanagan.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the announcement on Tuesday at her daily briefing on the novel coronavirus.
"Interior Health is investigating our first large community outbreak which involves a group of temporary foreign workers in housing at a West Kelowna agricultural business: Bylands Nursery," said Henry.
The business has been closed to customers, and the cases may be linked to a group of workers who arrived in Kelowna from outside Canada on March 12. The risk of exposure to the general public is "low," according to a statement from Interior Health.
"Interior Health became aware of a number of the workers there with respiratory illness and a number of them have now tested positive for COVID-19," said Henry. "The business itself is being quarantined and everybody is being able to be isolated effectively in the housing, the very good housing, that's available on-site there."
Henry said both the workers and the owners and operators of the nursery have been "fully co-operative."
"None of the workers were in roles that interact with customers and members of this group had very minimal contact in the community," said Interior Health.
Bylands Nursery and Garden Centre has undergone enhanced cleaning of all its nursery, housing, sanitary, and other facilities used by employees. It also denied access to all visitors, as ordered by the health ministry, according to Interior Health.