Island Health chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick offers information via social media regarding the decision not to reveal specific locations of COVID-19 cases. (Island Health Twitter image)

Island Health isn’t sharing locations of COVID-19 cases for privacy reasons

Chief medical health officer says novelty of the arrival of the virus will pass

COVID-19 has reached Vancouver Island, but more specific locations aren’t forthcoming, says Island Health.

The health authority released an informational video Thursday afternoon in which Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer, addressed the question about where exactly COVID-19 cases are confirmed.

He said that those with COVID-19 are patients and therefore deserve the same respect and privacy as any other patients receiving treatment.

“The information that has been collected to date has largely been used to identify the fact that the virus has arrived on the Island,” Stanwick said. “In short order, there will be multiple cases and the novelty of the arrival of this virus will pass.”

He asked that people respect Island Health’s decision not to reveal details beyond what the health authority provides.

Earlier this week, a Comox Valley doctor revealed that there was a COVID-19 case there and said she chose to share the information due to perceived nonchalance in the community.

The City of Nanaimo said even city officials aren’t being told locations of COVID-19 beyond what the general public is hearing.

“We’ve been vigilant in adhering to the guidance of the provincial government and they are asking us to be consistent and work as a group, a family of municipalities, as opposed to working independently because that will be confusing to the public,” said Jake Rudolph, City of Nanaimo chief administrative officer.

North Island MLA Claire Trevena said whether Vancouver Island’s cases are in Nanaimo, Victoria or Campbell River shouldn’t matter.

“What we all have to do is make sure we’re not spreading it and we’re being responsible,” she said.

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