(Google Maps)

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

Interior Health has confirmed five additional cases of COVID-19 related to an outbreak involving temporary foreign workers at a West Kelowna agricultural business, bringing the total number of cases to 19. The five cases stem from results that were still pending following the initial announcement of the outbreak on March 31.

On April 1, Dr. Silvina Mema, one of IH’s medical health officers, stated 27 workers at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. have been tested for the virus since the outbreak was identified. A total of 19 tests came back positive. All 75 workers — 63 migrant and 12 local — exposed to the virus have been self-isolating since the first case was confirmed on March 24.

On March 27, a second case was identified in a separate housing unit which caused IH to deem an outbreak.

Migrant workers are isolating on the property while the local workers have gone to their homes.

“We are doing as much as we can to continue to support our guest workers, ensuring that they have the food and supplies they need while in isolation,” said Mike Byland, vice president of sales and human resources at Bylands Nurseries Ltd, adding the company has partnered with Sysco to arrange food deliveries.

“We continue to work closely with Interior Health to support these individuals and to and ensure all of our sanitation processes, operational practices, and employee housing situations meet or exceed their recommendations. We are also working with Interior Health and the Consulates to ensure our guest workers can return to work at an appropriate time.”

Further testing is not planned and Mema does not anticipate any more cases to be confirmed.

Mema said the workers arrived at the farm between January and early March, with the most recent arrivals coming on March 12 — at which time Mema said the measures suggesting a two-week isolation period had not yet been implemented.

She said public interaction with the group was extremely minimal leading up to the isolation, as the group works and lives on the farm and groceries were delivered to them. None of the workers were involved in customer service.

However, Mema said people should still be behaving as though they could potentially be exposed.

“This virus has arrived — and not just to West Kelowna or Kelowna,” she said. “It’s across the interior and across B.C.”

READ MORE: Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

READ MORE: ‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMigrant Workers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bears are back and they’re not social distancing from humans

As you’re out working in your yard, take care of some items that might attract hungry bears

Funding available for South Cariboo charities

Funding is part of the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Support Fund

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend about 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read