Revelstoke COVID cluster linked to non-essential travel: Horgan

Virus cluster linked to travel

Premier John Horgan reiterated the province's stance on non-essential travel Wednesday, after disclosing the large cluster of cases in Revelstoke stemmed from people travelling to the town for recreation.

Last week, Interior Health announced a cluster of 22 cases had been identified in the small ski town in recent days, and as of Tuesday, the cluster has grown to at least 46 cases. Thirty-two of the cases remain active and an exposure event linked to the cluster has been identified at Ecole de Glacier Elementary.

“The Revelstoke example is people travelling unnecessarily for recreation, that's not acceptable,” Horgan said during a press conference Wednesday. “It was a bad choice and we're living with those consequences.”

While no public health orders have been issued in B.C. that restricts travel, Provincial Health Officer said last month that British Columbians should not be travelling to other communities unless it's absolutely necessary.

“If you don't need to travel, you shouldn't be travelling,” Horgan reiterated.

“This is a critical, dangerous time for British Columbia, with respect to COVID-19. It's absolutely essential that we reduce our interactions with people who are not in our bubble or in our cohort or in our family or in our household unit. I don't know how more clear we can be on that.

“The second wave is well and truly upon us ... we have a lot of COVID in communities on the Island, in the Interior, in the North, in the Lower Mainland.”

While Interior Health is now disclosing the number of cases in Revelstoke, the province continues to refuse to disclose case numbers in most individual towns, citing privacy concerns. Revelstoke's numbers weren't disclosed until 22 cases had been confirmed, and transmission had already been occurring in the community.

But Horgan said the province has been warning British Columbians in all parts of the province since March that there is “no safe place” from COVID-19.

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