I am advising you of a significant and concerning development — multiple COVID-19 positive test results have been reported at VSY. Alarmingly, some of these cases have been through workplace exposure.
In the first case, 7 employees in the same working group at VSY reported sick on Friday, August 20. From this group, 5 have so far been confirmed as COVID-19 positive, 2 are waiting for the results of their tests. Out of an abundance of caution, their work areas have been cleaned.
Unrelated to this first group of cases, 2 other employees, who last worked on Friday, August 20, also reported COVID-19 positive test results. These cases are not connected, and our contact tracing process determined there are no close contacts in either situation. All the employees are now isolating at home and we wish them well in their recovery.
As a precautionary measure, we have rapid tested 43 people at VSY, on Wednesday, August 25. This is in concert with public health, to protect our employees, and to enable us to be proactive in the event there are other employees who may be unaware they have COVID-19. Two of those tested positive and are isolating.
We have had 61 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic at VSY, VDC and VSL — including 19 cases since July 19 – by far the greatest rate of the pandemic. The increase in cases in recent weeks is regrettable, as we have managed to keep our figures well below the general population throughout the pandemic by following preventative measures and safety protocols on site. I urge anyone who is not yet vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. Unvaccinated people currently account for about 90 per cent of COVID-19 cases in B.C., and 93 per cent of hospitalizations. The risk of infection is about 10 times higher in the unvaccinated. B.C. has announced that unvaccinated people will experience restrictions in terms of access to places of business, events and travel. The province’s plan to introduce B.C. vaccine cards on September 13 will provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone who wants to attend a concert, sporting event, movie, restaurant, nightclub, casino or fitness class.
I recognize we are all weary of the coronavirus restrictions, but with the more transmissible Delta variant circulating in our communities, we cannot let our guard down, and this event indicates that we have done so. It is as important now as it was in the early stages of the pandemic to focus on prevention through physically distancing, masking and hand washing. Continue to complete your self-assessments every day. Report any changes to your health, however minor. If you feel unwell, stay home. If you have any questions, contact our Wellness team immediately (firstname.lastname@example.org; 604-990-3316).
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