Interior Health bulletin: ‘Increased’ COVID-19 activity in Revelstoke

'On a per capita basis, the weekly and cumulative totals are higher than many areas of the province.'

File photo: Customers line up at the Revelstoke Post Office on Jan. 4, 2021. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Interior Health issued an info bulletin on January 5 saying it has “identified increased COVID-19 activity in the Revelstoke region,” reminding residents to “maintain their efforts to prevent community transmission.”

“There is no specific source for the new cases,” Interior Health said in the statement, which is attached in this story. “It is for this reason all residents and businesses are reminded of the importance of COVID-19 testing at the first sign of symptoms in addition to keeping social bubbles small.”

A January 5 notice from Interior Health noting increased COVID-19 activity in Revelstoke. Image: Interior Health media release

In the Jan. 5 media release, Interior Health said the cumulative total of cases in the Revelstoke region has risen to 49. However, that number appears to be based on the cumulative total of cases in the Revelstoke Local Health Area as of the end of November, not counting new cases in December. Revelstokemountaineer.com reported there was a total of 49 cases on Dec. 4, 2020. The media release also mentions there were 22 new cases reported last week, and seven the week before, as has previously been reported on revelstokemountaineer.com.

Revelstokemountaineer.com contacted IH about the apparently dated numbers and they said they would clarify the numbers in its end-of-day statement on Jan. 5.

12:45 p.m. Update: Cumulative case total ‘above’ 85

An updated media release sent later on Jan 5. Image: Interior Health info bulletin

After the discrepancy in figures was pointed out by revelstokemountaineer.com, Interior Health issued a corrected news release. The new bulletin removes reference to the 49 total cases as of the end of November. In a brief statement outside of the media release, Interior Health said the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases is now above 85.

“A new official cumulative total will be posted on the BCCDC website in the days ahead, but Interior Health can confirm it is currently above 85 cases in the Revelstoke region since the start of the pandemic,” they stated.

The cumulative total is the number of cases since the start of the pandemic, not active cases. On Dec. 30, revelstokemountaineer.com reported 35 active cases in the Revelstoke LHA, but we don’t have an updated number of active cases as of Jan. 5.

Revelstoke experiencing high COVID-19 numbers on per capita basis

Interior Health (IH) noted that, “on a per capita basis, the weekly and cumulative totals are higher than many areas of the province.”

In B.C., COVID-19 case data for local health areas is released weekly on Wednesday afternoons. The last one came on Dec. 30 and the next one is expected on Jan. 6.

IH thanked elected and community leaders for support and asked residents not to stigmatize or judge those who seek testing or test positive for COVID-19.

IH encouraged residents to monitor the situation using COVID-19 case tracking data.

IH asked residents to follow COVID-19 mitigation steps:

-Keep to your household bubbles and avoid social gatherings.

-Stay home when you are sick and get tested if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

-Practise physical distancing and use a mask if you cannot.

-Wash your hands often.

Interior Health also offered the following information on booking a COVID-19 test:

Online: You can book an appointment online through the COVID-19 Test Booking Form: https://interiorhealthcovid.secureform.ca/index.php

By phone: Call the COVID-19 Test Booking Line at 1-877-740-7747 for assistance with booking your test.

Update: January 5, 5 p.m.

The situation in Revelstoke was included in the province’s Jan. 5 joint statement on the COVID-19 response. A paragraph dedicated to Revelstoke mentions community transmission and a substantial increase in cases in recent days:

“A public alert has been issued for the Revelstoke region, where community transmission and new cases of COVID-19 have increased substantially in recent days. The alert is a caution for all of us to continue to follow public health guidelines and restrictions.”

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.