After a long period of no positive cases in Golden, the Physicians of Golden have announced that that is no longer the case, with at least once recent positive test in the area.
“In a small community there are only two ways to acquire new cases, either a local person travels elsewhere and brings back the virus, or a visitor to our community brings it in,” read an update from the Physicians on August 27.
“With the increased numbers of visitors to our community, reintroducing the virus was pretty much inevitable.”
The province has also recently released a map that has circulated online which shows the cumulative cases in regions between January and July. This map indicates that Golden had two cases in that time period.
However, according to Dr. Trina Larsen-Soles, this can be misleading, as it only reflects the positive cases that have permanent addresses in Golden and not the number of people who were swabbed here and tested positive while residing in Golden.
“Some of the people who had swabbed here weren’t form here, since we have so many seasonal residents and temporary workers,” explained Larsen-Soles.
“The map I think has underestimated our total case count since the beginning.”
While the provincial government and Dr. Bonnie Henry have said that they don’t want to release data for individual communities outside of large clusters to avoid stigmatizing the disease, Larsen-Soles says the Physicians of Golden are concerned that it might create a false sense of security.
“If people think there’s nothing here and there is something while we dance around the problem seems wrong, which is why we put in our last update that we’ve had positive swabs,” said Larsen-Soles.
Larsen-Soles says a positive case is no reason to panic and to continue on with social distancing and mask wearing efforts, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Henry.
While in recent weeks some may have expanded their bubble and increased social interactions, now is the time to scale it back to the six to 10 person bubbles and maintaining six feet of distance even with those in your bubble, as we had into cold and flu season. Larsen-Soles this slip is what’s caused cases to rise in B.C., saying gatherings are at the root of the uptick in cases.
“We got sloppy about this over the summer, people are sharing food and drinks and aren’t staying six feet apart,” said Larsen-Soles.
“We’re not asking you to wear masks all the time, it’s not a big deal to be careful.”
She emphasized that it’s important to figure out how to socialize safely as cold weather brings people indoors. COVID is going to be around for a while, so figuring out how to stay safe while still seeing friends and family is going to be crucial as the pandemic continues.
Larsen-Soles emphasized that Golden has seven day a week testing capabilities and that swabs are being returned with results within 24 to 48 hours, whereas at the beginning of the pandemic it was taking up to a week.
She says that you should get swabbed if you show any symptoms. She encourages the use of the app put out by the province at the beginning of the pandemic, where you can enter your symptoms and it will tell you if it recommends a swab or not.