First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Invermere

Invermere’s first case of COVID-19 is affiliated with the Rockies hockey team

A person affiliated with the Columbia Valley Rockies tested positive for COVID-19. Within an hour of getting the news late last night, Rockies president Brett Holt said the organization reached out to local doctors for guidance.

“We followed every piece of guidance from the health authorities and within the hour had a message out to our players because that was our number one concern: our player’s families, our billet families, because they obviously were open to it,” he said. “We sent it to everybody that we could think of.”

None of the people he reached out to have reported any symptoms, he said, adding that “everybody’s thoughts are with the individual that’s affected.”

Holt, who is on the board of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), said: “We took the steps before anyone else … Our fan-base is small and a little bit older. We didn’t want anybody exposed. That’s why we actually deferred and cancelled the playoffs.”

While the Rockies were in the playoffs and battling for the divison final earlier in the month, the KIJHL board wanted to call off the remainder of the games.

“This is important. We all need to do our part. We’re a small valley,” he said.

Mayor Al Miller is calling for people to stay calm and to take all precautions including keeping their hands clean, staying home if they have the slightest hint of any kind of illness, staying in place, and keeping a distance from others.

“I really want people communicating with their neighbours, but via text, via email, via phone call. Check in on people. This is the time to care for your neighbour more than ever,” he said.

MLA Doug Clovechok said those returning from trips need to self-isolate and that anyone who doesn’t is being “so, so irresponsible.”

“In order for us to escape what China and Italy have gone through, we have to practice (social distancing). Susan and I, we’re hunkered down in Dutch Creek. We’re obviously working from our phones, working from our computers because it’s busy. But we’re not interacting with people because that’s the responsible thing to do. We’re getting out going for walks and taking the dogs and saying hi to people but keeping a safe distance apart,” he said. “If your grandma is still alive, would you go and visit her right now? No, you wouldn’t. Act like you’re trying to protect your grandparents and your parents.”

Anyone can do a self assessment here: https://covid19.thrive.health.

For help over the phone, call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or 811.

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