A Facebook post from the Selkirk Medical Group said it’s unknown how many people in Revelstoke have COVID-19, but it’s definitely present and spreading.
“Assume that everyone you know is incubating the virus and potentially contagious,” reads the post from the local clinic.
There are four reasons why the local physicians do not know COVID-19 numbers in Revelstoke said the Selkirk Medical Group. For one, the BC Ministry of Health is not providing communities with local case data. Two, people with mild symptoms are not being tested as Canada does not have the capacity to test everyone right now. Three, the role of contact tracing is performed by the Department of Public Health, not physicians. Four, Revelstoke facilities are not the only places Revelstoians may go for medical care.
The Selkirk Medical Group said healthcare workers in town have assessed a couple hundred people with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms in more than 10 days, the majority of which have not been tested and have been told to self-isolate.
In less than a week, three different heliskiing lodges have confirmed recent visitors have tested positive for COVID-19. Revelstoke had its first positive test for coronavirus on March 17.
A recent article published on Backcountry yesterday was written by a U.S traveler that passed through Revelstoke earlier this month and tested positive for COVID-19 once home.
Even after six days of having symptoms, Ryan Irvin writes he is still having a hard time breathing. His chest is extremely tight, as if someone is pressing down on his sternum. He gets coughing fits so bad they lead to vomiting. His body is weak and usually above 37C degrees. By comparison, his girlfriend has different symptoms. She’s lost her voice and has a lower temperature.
“It’s clear COVID-19 has a different plan for each of its victims,” he writes.
Irvin is 29-years-old.
He said people need to cancel trips, stop traveling, social distance and self-isolate.
“Please: I urge you to take this seriously.”
In the two weeks, before symptoms appeared, he traveled throughout B.C., including Revelstoke, Nelson, Golden and Kimberley.
“If I knew what I was subjecting all these small communities to, I never would have left my home.”
While traveling, Irvin writes he didn’t take COVID-19 seriously and wishes he had.
Revelstoke opened a testing centre for COVID-19 today at the Queen Victoria Hospital.