Health and government authorities at all levels stress that the location and number of cases should not matter to how people are responding to the COVID-19 situation.
“It doesn’t matter where it is, and whether the cases on Vancouver Island are in Nanaimo, Victoria or Campbell River,” said local MLA Claire Trevena. “It doesn’t matter. What we all have to do is make sure we’re not spreading it and we’re being responsible.”
Her sentiment echoed that of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has repeated the position that the government “will not be identifying the specific location of confirmed cases unless public health providers cannot be certain they have reached all those who need to be contacted and who therefore might be a risk to the public.”
A local clinic recently posted on Facebook that they confirmed a COVID-19 case in the Campbell River area, but declined to be identified or comment to the Campbell River Mirror on the post. In the face of extensive concern in the community about how many cases of COVID-19 have shown up in Campbell River, the Mirror reached out to Island Health, the BCCDC and the Ministry of Health, who all confirmed that they do not comment on specific cases, and that their response would be similar to Henry’s position.
Trevena, Henry, Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams and other officials have all said the same thing. Knowing about specific cases has no benefit to people and only serves to cause worry. Knowing how many local cases exist should have no bearing on people’s reactions if they are not in direct contact with those who are sick.
“I don’t think there’s a need to specify complete locations,” Trevena said. “By area health authority it shows that its everywhere and that we all need to be sensible.”
“We want people who have symptoms to contact us, and to feel safe contacting us, knowing their privacy will be protected so the steps to protect the health and safety for all can be taken,” Henry’s statement continued. “This is why privacy is important to everyone. It allows public health providers to do the work they need to do to keep everybody safe.”