In response to a request for comment from the Observer, Seabird Island Chief Jim Harris has issued a statement in response to a COVID-19 exposure event at Seabird Island Dental Clinic.
In the statement released on Wednesday (October 21), Chief Harris confirmed the heavy protocols in place at the dental clinic resulted in zero transmissions and no continued risk to the community or to any staff members.
”Seabird has worked diligently to have all the proper protocols in place – staff and client screening pre-screening, front door screening, hand sanitizer and mask protocols upon entry – so the situation was under control at all times,” Chief Harris wrote. “The only variable is that a person might not show symptoms; rapid contact tracing is then initialized if a concern comes up. The outcome is that there was no risk to anyone, which is a testament to proper controls as per the advice of infection control and public health specialists.”
Seabird Island Band experienced a ‘COVID-19 exposure event’ on the 6th of October, 2020. Seabird has worked diligently…
Chief Harris emphasized the community’s dedication to the health and safety of each other during the pandemic, citing the community’s close connection with Fraser Health and the local First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in creating policies and protocols appropriate to the ever-changing situation.
“Seabird Island Dental Clinic employs strict adherence to all safety protocols by all staff at the clinic at all times,” Chief Harris continued. “This adherence, along with the thorough implementation of all mandated post-exposure precautions, eliminated any risk to community or staff.”
The Fraser-Salish region of the FNHA released a letter notifying the community about the event, which was posted to the Seabird Island social media on October 15. The letter stressed the need to stick to COVID-19 protocols on an individual level, stating that the combined efforts make a big difference. The FNHA stated physical distancing protocols alone dramatically cut infection rates, saying increasing social distancing from none to 75 per cent can cause one person to potentially infect three people instead of 400.
When physical distancing isn’t possible, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control recommends wearing masks to prevent your respiratory droplets from infecting others. Frequent, proper handwashing will also reduce risk.
“Our recent situation carries with it the gift of opportunity to relay a message to all of you: Remember how much power you have to safeguard your own well-being and that of your family, and exercise it with a good mind and good heart as the coming days unfold,” the letter concludes.
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