The Elk Valley Physicians posted this update on Facebook earlier today, please read and stay the course. Hang in there Fernie, play by the rules and hopefully we’ll get through this.
“In the last week there have been 55 new cases of COVID in the East Kootenay. But the numbers for the local health area (called Fernie health area) which includes Elkford-Sparwood-Fernie-South country, will be updated online later today hopefully. These numbers will only reflect those people who list an Elk Valley address and will not include out of province residents here if they give their permanent ‘other’ address. If you have symptoms, get tested: book online at interiorhealth.ca, or call 1-877-740-7747.
– What does positivity rate mean? It defines the percentage of people who are COVID positive out of the total number that got tested: For example, if 100 people are tested, and 10 are positive, that equals a 10% positivity rate. It does not mean that 10% of the population is positive, only that 10% of those tested were positive for COVID.
– The local positivity rate will change daily or weekly depending on rates of testing and how it’s reported. Regardless, anything above 5% is concerning and means there may be a delay in contact tracing. So – if you tested positive for COVID, please start calling all your close contacts as soon as possible in case public health has trouble reaching them quickly. A close contact = anyone with whom you’ve spent more than 15 minutes cumulative time together, regardless of indoor or outdoor setting, or wearing masks. Start with your household members, workplace or school.
– What is a close contact? There is an entire webpage devoted to COVID close contacts and scenarios. There is another entire page devoted to ‘what is self isolation’. It is complex and impossible to summarize in a post. Please go here and review what all this means. Click on the various tabs of ‘Who’, ‘How Long’, ‘How to’, and other tabs of ‘Close contacts’ and ‘Contact Tracing’.
Thank you to our engaged community sticking to the rules: avoiding social gatherings, wearing masks and washing hands often! We all have a role to play to reduce transmission in our small community. Be kind, be calm, and stay safe!”