Interior Health says there have been 23 cases of COVID-19 in Salmo in November. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Interior Health says there have been 23 cases of COVID-19 in Salmo in November. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

UPDATED: COVID-19 cases rise to 23 in Salmo

The cases are connected to social events in the village

There have now been 23 cases of COVID-19 in the Salmo area this month, according to Interior Health.

The health authority said Thursday it continues to investigate cases in the community of 1,141 people after the first case was made public Nov. 7.

Dr. Karin Goodison, a medical health officer with Interior Health, said Salmo’s cases are connected to social events in the village area.

“We can really link most of these people together. So it’s not out of control transmission in the community,” said Goodison, who added there’s no evidence to show the cases are linked to any Halloween parties.

“It’s where we see that this person was with these people, and these people got infected and then they went and saw this other person. We can trace it, and so that’s really important for us to understand what control measures we need to apply in these situations.”

Goodison couldn’t say how many of Salmo’s cases remain active or are recovered.

Salmo is part of the Nelson Health Area, which includes Nelson and Kaslo. Prior to the Salmo cases there had been just 12 cases in the area from January to October, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

“Our key message here is that really this is time to not be out socializing. This is the time to keep our people who we spend time with to our families and a couple key people who help keep us mentally stable during this really challenging time.”

There have also been no exposures at both Salmo Secondary and Salmo Elementary, which continue to be open.

Goodison encouraged Salmo residents to continue going to work, and to keep sending their children to school.

“The school environment is a very safe setting and having a few cases in a community should not stop people from attending school,” she said. “In fact it’s a very good place to be. If I was a parent in that community I would continue to be sending my child to school.”

Prior to Thursday there was just 10 cases known of in the Salmo region after the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 217 announced one of its members who attended the village’s Remembrance Day ceremony had contracted COVID-19.

The Village of Salmo office, Salmo Valley Youth and Community Centre and a thrift store are currently closed. The Salmo Valley Public Library building is closed to the public, but library staff are still offering services at the front door.

Testing is available by appointment only at Salmo Wellness Centre as well as at centres in Trail, Nelson and Castlegar.

Related: More pandemic protection needed for B.C. seniors as second COVID-19 wave hits: report

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