A hand sanitizer dispenser and a sign indicating steps to be taken to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is seen at an entrance to the Vancouver Convention Centre, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Golden’s doctors test community for COVID-19

Physicians are unable to confirm just how many are in a particular community

The Physicians of Golden continue to test for COVID-19 in the community, while keeping citizens informed by disclosing information via Facebook posts.

With Golden’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19, announced March 17, ensuring the public gets the proper information has become more important than ever, according to Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, a physicians at Golden Medical Clinic.

“We’re trying to get our message out as best we can to everyone, regardless if they have internet or not,” Larsen Soles said.

“Our message to everybody is to just stay home, don’t have gatherings, don’t take your kids on playdates, just stay at home.”

In terms of numbers, Larsen Soles isn’t able to provide an update beyond that there are currently positive COVID-19 cases in Golden and they continue to administer tests. This is due to patient confidentiality.

The province will only be providing numbers for specific regions, with Interior Health registering 30 positive cases as of March 23.

“Typically, they won’t even release what communities have positive cases, just the region as a whole and Interior Health is pretty big,” said Larsen Soles.

“We don’t want people ostracized and we don’t want to reveal personal information about folks and their privacy trumps the public want to know everything. Act as though your neighbour has it, act as if it’s everywhere because it probably is.”

Larsen Soles says the reason they decided to go public with the fact that there were positive cases in the community were so residents would understand the severity of the situation.

One thing Larsen Soles emphasized was Golden has not become a cluster, which is defined as a group of people that either has positive diagnoses of COVID-19 or a group that has come in contact with those who have.

An example of a cluster would be the dental convention that was held in Vancouver in early March which had several COVID-19 cases linked to it, or the Lynn Valley Care Home in North Vancouver that has been the location for the majority of the COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. and Canada.

“Most people are taking it seriously and taking precautions, but it’s important to remember that these aren’t suggestions, they are orders,” said Larsen Soles.

The Town of Golden announced bylaw officers will be patrolling the town, ensuring all businesses are upholding their end of orders and maintaining proper social-distancing practices outlined by the provincial government.

Larsen Soles said the best way to continue to combat the virus is by self-isolation, hand washing and sanitizing.

According to her, the outbreak in Canada is at a turning point.

It will take about a week or two to know if the efforts have been successful in flattening the exponential curve of growth of the virus, or if Canada is set to become the next Italy.

While self-isolating, it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind and focus on the things that can be controlled, such as thought and behaviour.

Coronavirus

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