Three more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at West Kelowna’s Bylands Nurseries, bringing the total number of people infected at the agricultural business to 23.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the new cases in the outbreak among the group of temporary foreign workers during her daily press conference on April 14.
The outbreak was initially announced by Henry on March 31 with 14 cases — which grew to 19 by the next day due to test results that were still pending. On April 1, Dr. Silvena Mema, an Interior Health (IH) medical health officer, told the Kelowna Capital News said she anticipated no further cases to be confirmed in the outbreak.
Mema said the workers arrived at the farm between January and early March, with the most recent arrivals coming on March 12 — at which time Mema said the measures suggesting a two-week isolation period had not yet been implemented. All 75 workers — 63 migrant and 12 local — exposed to the virus have been self-isolating since the first case was confirmed on March 24.
Since the outbreak was made public, the workers at Bylands have received ‘overwhelming support’ from the community. Bylands took to its Facebook page on April 7 to commend locals for food donations and offers of help. The post also stated “workers (seemed) to be recovering well.”
The only other outbreak in the IH region is at Okanagan Correctional Centre. That facility remains at one confirmed case, though Henry said a ‘number’ of tests have come back negative.
The total number of cases in IH is now 141.