Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm hotel guest isolates as bus tours continue

Tour bus virus concern

A Salmon Arm hotel guest awaiting test results for COVID-19 is concerned that tour buses continue to roll through the community, dropping off tourists coming and going from Vancouver to the Rockies.

The man, who we aren't naming, said he first got sick in late January and could hardly breathe.

"At the time, there were no real coronavirus cases in B.C., so I just chalked it up to 'it's winter,'" he said.

The man recovered, but then started to get sick again.

That's when he started to pay attention to buses coming and going from his hotel.

"Buses full of Asian tour groups still coming to my hotel ... There's two or three every day," he said.

He spoke with one of the bus drivers, who said the tours have been cut down in number of passengers, and pass through Salmon Arm on their way to Banff.

"I was told they are cancelling, but clearly they have not cancelled anything," he said.

In a recording of his conversation, the driver can be heard saying: "People have no idea, think 'looks oriental – dangerous.'"

Still, the hotel guest is concerned, saying there is potential for virus exposure in the hallways, elevators and other common areas, not to mention the travel between provinces while health authorities are advocating social distancing and self-isolation.

Another hotel guest saw one passenger exit a bus, coughing and vomiting.

The man was tested for infection on Wednesday and is now waiting on results that should be back next week.

"Meanwhile, I'm stuck here for 14 days," he said.

"Clearly, they continue to operate, even though our health authority has directed these types of gatherings to be halted."

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