OUT OF LEFT FIELD: IHA steps up strong for COVID testing in Castlegar

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
July 27th, 2021

People who have long followed The Source likely already know that I am often frustrated, or even downright angry, at how the Interior Health Authority deals with Castlegar.

Not this time.

As Castlegar sees a resurgence of COVID-positive cases,with IHA representing 95 of the 150 new cases province-wide overnight July 26, to 27, I called as a patient to ask how to make an appointment to be tested, and was told testing was only available in Trail and Nelson. I thought this was wildly unreasonable, especially given that some residents’ only community-to-community transportation option is public transit (which would be reckless in the extreme), and I contacted IHA to complain (some might say bitterly) about the situation.

I also took exception to what I saw as a failure to inform residents that patients can still contract COVID even after both vaccinations (and before the lunatic fringe starts having a heyday, screaming that we’ve been lied to, they need to look at the data. While you can, indeed, get sick from COVID after getting your shots, you will be exponentially less likely to end up hospitalized, in ICU, on a ventilator, or dead. Immunization and proper hygiene/distancing protocols remain your best possible protections from the worst ravages of the pandemic. Period.Anyone who tells you otherwise is flat-out lying, or dangerously deluded.)

IHA took immediate action on both counts, and issued a statement to The Source Tuesday indicating they’ll be resuming testing in Castlegar tomorrow at 813 10 St., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; clinic hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 “Appointments are necessary. We’re in the process of updating the website. Testing information | COVID-19 | Interior Health

“Here is some additional information …around immunization status and general case information:

“Interior Health will not confirm the immunization status of individuals for privacy reasons – they can do so on their own if they choose to.

“COVID-19 cases are still possible in immunized individuals, but the symptoms are generally milder.

“The more people who are immunized overall, the lower the risk of broader community spread and of people who are most vulnerable being exposed.

“Since British Columbia entered step 3 of the re-opening on July 1, approximately 70 per cent of the cases in Interior Health were in people who were not vaccinated, 26 per cent of cases were in people who were partially immunized, and only four per cent of the cases were in people who had received two doses. Most of these cases are in adults between 20-39 years old.”

I want to both congratulate and thank IHA for their swift and comprehensive response, with special thanks to Senior Communications Lead Karl Hardt for his ongoing efforts to work for the health and safety of our community.

I also think it’s worth noting that this was all done while IHA is in the midst of dealing with a variety of crises/emergencies: COVID, the heatwave, the opioid crisis, and what is now the worst air quality in the entire country due to wildfires.

Outstanding work, IHA, and thank you!





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