Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is launching a public exposures webpage for situations where the health authority isn't able to contact everyone exposed to COVID-19.
The location, dates and times of these exposures will be posted to www.vch.ca/COVIDexposures. Previously, the health authority issued public exposure notices for two Vancouver strip clubs and two hotels, also in Vancouver.
VCH launched the webpage as more people are heading outside this summer as the province reopens – and is asking people, businesses and facility operators to remain “vigilant” against the spread of COVID-19.
B.C. saw a spike in cases over the weekend. Between Friday and Monday, 102 cases were confirmed, while Tuesday saw 30 new cases. On Wednesday, health officials announced 34 cases, and said that nearly 1,000 people across B.C. are currently self-isolating because they have been exposed to the virus.
More than 60 cases have been linked to exposures in Kelowna around Canada Day.
“We know people are eager to get out and enjoy summer and we want to remind them that COVID-19 is still in our communities,” said Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, VCH deputy chief medical health officer, in a statement.
“We have to continue taking the measures we know are effective at keeping transmissions flat: Stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, keep your social circles small and maintain physical distance while out in public.”
Lysyshyn pointed to the recent exposure notices already put out by VCH.
“Vancouver Coastal Health has already issued public notifications related to places where we’ve seen large groups of people go to socialize, mingle and party, such as bars and nightclubs,” he said.
“When people aren’t taking measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 in these settings, it means more potential risk to the public and more contacts for our public health teams to follow.”
VCH says its public health teams continue to follow up with all confirmed COVID-19 cases and their close contacts.
Anyone who has visited locations listed on the website at the specified times should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, according to VCH, but can continue their daily activities.
Those who develop symptoms, however mild, should contact their family doctor or 8-1-1, get tested and self-isolate.
Meanwhile, notifications related to flights, work sites, long-distance bus and train travel, as well as public events, are posted on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s online list of public exposures.