Premier Horgan is seen during a discussion on reopening the province’s economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

The province is hiring 500 additional staff to help with contact tracing as B.C. continues to see new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Contact tracing is a tool used to track a person’s whereabouts after they test positive for COVID-19 and contact anyone necessary to let them know they have been exposed to the disease.

“We want to make sure people are kept safe in any COVID-19 outbreak, and one of the ways to do that is through strong contact tracing,” Premier John Horgan said during a news conference on Wednesday (Aug. 12).

“These new contact tracers will provide an extra layer of protection by jumping into action as soon as there is an outbreak, and will start their detective-style work to find out who may be infected in order to protect all British Columbians.”

Some of those hired will also help in supporting public health services from education about the virus to immunizing for influenza in the fall.

Reducing the number of people with the flu helps alleviate the burden on provincial laboratory testing infrastructure and protects acute-care capacity in B.C.’s hospitals as respiratory illness season approaches this fall, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.

“When there is a community outbreak, time is of the essence,” she said. “These new contact tracers will work with existing public health teams to help track down all those who may have been exposed and support people to self-isolate when necessary.

“This role becomes even more crucial to contain the spread as we continue to open up our schools, economy and social activities, and as we prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season this fall.”

Those hired will begin working in September and likely be employed until the end of March 2021, the province said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A victory year for Barriere Blooms

Barriere was blooming this summer. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and businesses… Continue reading

TNRD supports reduced speed limit for Dixon Mountain

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has put its support behind efforts to get… Continue reading

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Keep your bubbles small this fall

Fewer contacts and smaller bubbles will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

NDP calls snap election, Milobar running for re-election

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced on Monday that he will officially terminate… Continue reading

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read