The health authority is reporting ongoing COVID-19 cases in the broader Salmo region, all linked to a cluster of community cases.

Interior Health (IH) says there have 23 cases identified in the region over the last 14 days, extending south from Nelson.

“The majority of these cases are linked to several social events that occurred in Salmo,” said the health authority. “At this time, there is no evidence of widespread transmission in any communities and an outbreak has not been declared.”

According to IH, the majority of new cases are “primarily” among contacts of the original cases that were identified in early November. There were 9 cases reported by the Village of Salmo back on November 9th. IH said it is especially important for those in the Salmo region to limit their social activities and follow COVID-19 protocols while indoors.

“All identified active cases continue to self-isolate and public health continues to follow-up directly with all close contacts to offer guidance and support. The risk of exposure from this cluster in communities outside the broader Salmo area is considered low.”

IH said they are continuing to monitor the cluster of additional cases.

“No exposures have been identified in a local school setting and students can continue to go to school. If there is a case, the schools will be alerted and appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the safety of our school population.”

According to the health authority, all Salmo businesses involved in the gatherings and elected to close temporarily and that officials have been in the community to review safety plans at a number of locations and provide additional support and guidance as required.

“This cluster illustrates that COVID-19 is in smaller rural communities as well as larger urban centres.”

Interior Health is reminding all communities to remain vigilant and take the following COVID-19 precautions:

  • 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
  • Practise physical distancing and use a mask if you cannot
  • Wash your hands often

Those needing a COVID-19 test must book an appointment. IH said testing is available at the Salmo Wellness while there are also testing centres in Nelson, Castlegar, or Trail.

Tests can be booked online and over the phone at 1-877-749-7747.

All testing is available for those with cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Body aches (muscles and joints aching)
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

IH said other milder symptoms may include a runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, vomiting, or red eyes.