UPDATE: Alberta Health Services is investigating after a string of COVID-19 cases linked to a prayer gathering in Deadwood. AHS Assistant Director of Communications Sherene Khaw says the provincial health body is working with BC Health to continue contact tracing from the event.
AHS suggests anyone who attended the ‘It Is Time Canada’ event should book a COVID-19 test online and continue to monitor for symptoms.
Northern Health in British Columbia has issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for the entire northeast portion of the province after at least 12 lab-confirmed cases of the virus were traced back to an event Deadwood, Alberta.
Individuals who attended the “It Is Time Canada” event between July 30th and August 2nd, are asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolate and seek testing if they begin to exhibit symptoms.
Northern Health officials say 12 of the 17 total cases confirmed are related to attendance at the event, while the other five are believed to be from secondary exposure.
The majority of these confirmed cases are in the Fort St. John area, however, the exposure alert applies to the entire northeast BC region.
“That is the result of the contract tracing work that takes place after cases are confirmed with laboratory results,” says Eryn Collins with Northern Health.
Collins says in addition to the 17 cases they’ve confirmed, another two dozen individuals have been identified to be potentially close contacts, and remain under the watchful eye of healthcare workers.
“24 people who are identified as either close contacts of either the original attendees or those who have been lab-confirmed from secondary exposure, those people are all in isolation and they’re being monitored on a daily basis by public health.”
Organizers from “It is Time Canada” have made a statement about the matter on Facebook.