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HomeNews"This was to be expected,": Northern Health Medical Officer on COVID-19 case...

“This was to be expected,”: Northern Health Medical Officer on COVID-19 case spike

Dr. Rakel Kling of Northern Health said there isn’t one main driver on why COVID-19 cases are surging.

Since March, our health authority has seen 303 test positive cases but over 160 of those have taken place since September 1st.

Northern Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Rakel Kling (Photo supplied by Northern Health)

In an exclusive interview with Vista Radio, Kling stated the gradual reopening of the provincial economy opened the door for more cases.

“We are seeing an increase as to be expected because restrictions have been lifting things have been opening-up, people are going back to work and school, residents are out socializing more so this was to be expected.”

She also mentioned some people in our area might be getting a little too comfortable.

“Its possible people might be letting their guard down but I think it’s important that all communities be aware that the risk is out there. There is always a risk of COVID being out there in all northern communities so everyone needs to continue doing their part.”

Northern Health has seen on-reserve cases in Witset and Nak’azdli Whut’en spike in recent weeks.

In addition, four schools within our region have detected exposure events.

Two of those were reported at Quesnel Junior School while the others occurred in Dawson Creek and Fort Saint James.

Kling explained how the virus can incubate among students.

“We consider the infection period two days before the start of symptoms so there are two days where people are still doing their daily lives and because of that and we can expect that there will be COVID in various places including schools.”

256 of Northern Health’s cases have since recovered with five people in the hospital, one of which is in ICU.

The recovery rate in our region is 84%, two points higher than the BC mark of 82%.

The health authority has recorded two deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Just under 20-thousand COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the north, a far cry from Interior and Island Health who have both registered over 66-thousand tests.

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