Three new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern Health Authority region as of July 17. None of those are in Prince Rupert, however one is a self-isolating case in Haida Gwaii, from which the health authority issued a statement on social media.
“We are aware that today’s (July 18) increase in Northern Health’s case counts and discussions circulating on social media may be causing concern for (Northern Health residents). We would like to take this opportunity to remind communities that regardless of where cases may be, it’s important for all of us to continue to follow public health advice. It’s also important to be kind to one another,” the Northern Health statement said.
Some groups of people may experience stigma because of COVID-19, including people diagnosed with COVID-19, and their caregivers or contacts, Northern Health said in the social media post on July 18.
“Stigma is a negative stereotype or negative association about people with an illness. It hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people, and negatively affecting the mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in,” Northern Health said.
Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said, in a statement issued on July 18, that despite the widespread acceptance and everyday practice of public health measures, such as washing your hands frequently, physical distancing and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in crowded places, it is possible that you or somebody you know will get sick and test positive for COVID-19.
“As more Canadians go out and interact with others, we expect to see new COVID-19 cases. Without a vaccine or effective treatment, Canada’s daily new case count will not drop to zero in the foreseeable future,” Njoo said.
“If this happens, it is important to remember that there is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a reality that any of us could become sick from this very contagious virus,” Njoo said.
“We can stop stigma, by knowing the facts, sharing only accurate information with others, and most of all, being kind,” Northern Health said.
Prior to this, no new cases of the coronavirus had been reported in the health region since June 6.
New statistics were announced in a July 17 joint statement from Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. There are 207 active cases of COVID-19 in the province out of a total of 3,198 cases to date in B.C. Of those cases, 2,802 people who tested positive for the virus, have recovered.
“Many new cases are individuals in their 20s and 30s and transmission is directly connected to social events. You need to be aware that while the severity of illness for those in their 20s and 30s is typically much less, your ability to spread to others is just as high,” the statement issued by provincial health experts said.
“We are asking everyone to use your connections and influence – whether on social media or in-person – to share the message to socialize safely and spread kindness, not the virus.
“Be the voice that helps to keep COVID-19 away from your friends and family.
“On a boat, at a resort or at someone’s house, if you are hosting an event, you have an obligation to keep your gatherings small, know everyone who is attending and be able to reach them afterwards, if necessary,” the statement said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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