Interior Health has walked back comments made by the Elk Valley’s top doctor, saying in a release that the positivity rate locally was between 10 and 12 per cent, and not 20 per cent as previously reported.
“Unfortunately, comments made earlier this week by Dr. (Ron) Clark (who is chief of staff at the Elk Valley Hospital) about what he estimates is the COVID-19 positivity rate for the Fernie community are incorrect,” said a spokesperson for Interior Health.
“With respect to Dr. Clark, while he may estimate 1 in 5 people are testing positive, it’s not the case in Fernie, or anywhere else across Interior Health.”
Dr. Ron Clark, who is the top doctor at the Elk Valley Hospital which serves the Fernie local health area had made the comments on positivity rates when speaking with the business community earlier in the week.
In walking back the remarks, the IH spokesperson said that when understanding the positivity rate in a community, it was important to look at averages day to day as the number of residents receiving tests within a community can change drastically daily.
“The number of people receiving tests in this community each day can vary substantially, which has an impact on the positivity rate and is why the seven-day rolling average is used.
“Targeted testing can also contribute to increased positivity as more cases are detected through contact tracing.”
Interior Health contacts each individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to ensure they can self isolate, while also reaching out to all their direct contacts for contact tracing.
According to data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on Jan. 20, 20 COVID-positive tests returned between Jan. 10 and Jan. 16 within the Fernie local health area.
For the latest numbers from the BCCDC, head to bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data.