As COVID-19 cases spike across B.C. and our province firmly enters the anticipated second wave of the pandemic, Dr. Trina Larsen Soles of the Physicians of Golden warns we are on the cusp of a dire situation.
“One reason that we’re a bit better off than other provinces is that 80-90 per cent of our cases can still be traced,” said Larsen Soles.
“In Ontario in some places, they’ve had to stop contact tracing because there’s so many cases. So far we’re walking that line and if we pull it in now, we can still be one of the model provinces for the country.”
Larsen Soles emphasized that the majority of cases are coming from gatherings in people’s homes and once again reiterated her message that we need to reign in our social interactions and stick with a social bubble of six people.
She also says it’s more important than ever heading into cold and flu season to wash and sanitize your hands while staying six feet apart and wearing a mask.
“Its not a public health order yet, but it’s an expectation that everyone wear a mask in public spaces and in business.
“That means when you go inside you should be wearing a mask and the employees should be wearing masks.”
Larsen Soles also emphasized public health orders are basically short-term laws for the state of emergency that Dr. Bonnie Henry declared back in March.
Violating a public health order is subject to fines or even arrest, although it us up to the Public Health Authorities to enforce.
Public health orders include quarantining while waiting for tests results.
“You are not allowed to be out and about while waiting for tests results,” said Larsen Soles.
“You can call public health to report people who are violating these orders and they’ve been shutting down parties and issuing fines in bigger city centres.
“The bottom line is if you suspect you might have COVID or if you’re waiting for a test, you need to isolate until you get your result.”
Moving into the second wave, Larsen Soles believes that Golden is in a good situation, considering how remote it is and how pro-active people have been.
“Take the Bistro, for instance. I thought they were incredibly proactive and made a decision on how to best keep the community safe.
“It was amazingly forward thinking of them.
“If more people thought in terms of keeping each other safe instead of doing the bare minimum, we wouldn’t be having this many cases.”
She’s also encouraged by the plan that Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has put out.
She finds it to be more vigilant and comprehensive than some other resort public health safety plans she has seen.
While many wear a buff while they ski, Larsen Soles said often those aren’t very effective as face coverings as the polyester is too thin.
She suggested all face coverings should be made from cotton to ensure the best protection.
With flu season around the corner, Larsen Soles says it’s more important than ever to get the flu shot.
Appointments are available at the medical clinic while walk-ins being accepted at the pharmacy.