Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Revelstoke COVID-19 cluster linked to non-essential travel: Horgan

There have been 46 cases of COVID-19 in the community

Premier John Horgan urged British Columbians to avoid non-essential travel after disclosing the COVID-19 cluster in Revelstoke was caused by people traveling to the community for recreation.

“We are now living with those consequences,” he said during a press conference on Dec. 2.

On Dec. 1, Interior Health confirmed cases of COVID-19 have swelled to 46 in Revelstoke.

Of those, 32 are active and 14 individuals have recovered.

READ MORE: Revelstoke COVID-19 cases spike to 46

“The Revelstoke example is people traveling unnecessarily for recreation, that’s not acceptable,” Horgan said.

However, Chief Medical Officer at Interior Health Dr. Albert De Villiers, said the COVID-19 cluster in the community has not been linked to one specific event, but multiple.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Tourism Revelstoke and the Mayor of Revelstoke are urging visitors to not come to the community until the province drops its non-essential travel advisory.

Unlike other provinces such as Alberta, B.C. is only releasing case numbers once a month unless there is a cluster or outbreak. Interior Health said over the course of two weeks in November, Revelstoke had 10 cases. Then in one day, the number more than doubled to 22, forcing the agency to declare a cluster and notify the public on Nov. 24.

When asked why Interior Health waited until there were 22 cases in Revelstoke before notifying the public, the agency said it’s expected for communities to get a handful of cases.

However, when Revelstoke’s cases more than doubled in one day, De Villiers said that could indicate something was wrong and it was time for the public to know to try and stop the virus’s spread.

Prior to Nov. 1, there were only three confirmed COVID-19 cases in Revelstoke since January.

B.C. is reporting 834 new cases (66 in Interior Health) and 12 new deaths as of Dec. 2.

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