MLA for Kootenay East Tom Shypitka believes there is little concern for the novel coronavirus in the region for the time being, but being prepared is still important for residents.
As the number of infected individuals rises around the globe, concern among health officials is mounting. Locally, however, Shypitka said that it is not a significant issue yet.
“I talked to Interior Health, and they said to advise people that is not an immediate threat of any kind at this moment and nor do they think it will be, but we still have to be prepared,” said Shypitka. “I think we just have to hold tight and do what we can individually to protect ourselves.”
To keep any sickness from spreading, Shypitka recommends practicing good hygiene and getting signs of illness checked by a healthcare professional.
Shypitka also spoke to dispell a rumour concerning the closure of the operating room at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
“The OR at the hospital was shut down around 6 o’clock on Sunday and it was due to some dust that got into the OR from a renovation they were doing in the urology suite. They had to do an immediate scrub down of the facility to bring it back up,” explained Shypitka. “There was a rumour that a coronavirus outbreak had happened and I want to quickly extinguish those rumours, and let everybody know that I was assured by Interior Health that that is definitely not the case.”
The OR has since re-opened to operations as of Wednesday.
As of Thursday, February 27, there are 11 confirmed cases in Canada, seven of which are in B.C., with three recovered cases in the province and six nation-wide.