Island Health issues order to support efficient contact tracing in campgrounds

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All owners and operators must now collect information form patrons to enable contact tracing in campgrounds and RV parks on Vancouver Island. Island Health issued the new order on Nov. 13.

“We need to do everything we can to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and we know effective contact tracing plays a significant role,” said Richard Stanwick, the region’s chief medical officer. “I appreciate the support of Tourism Vancouver Island in our collective efforts to help protect our families, friends and those who may be most at risk of contracting the COVID-19 birds during the winter months.”

The new order ensures public health teams are able to trace potential sources of COVID-19 and provides information about people who may travel through the Lower Mainland or come from other parts of Canada to Vancouver Island, according to Island Health.

“We want to see our communities stay as safe as possible by educating visitors who have chosen to travel within our region and do so responsibly in accordance with current public health orders and guidelines,” said Anthony Everett, president of Tourism Vancouver Island. “We hope to see Vancouver Island strike a balance between health and safety and supporting the survival of our tourism industry, which is vital to Islanders.”

Park operators are required to keep the data they collect, including names and phone numbers of patrons, for 30 days.

“Island Health has been working closely with WorksafeBC and will also work with RV and Campground operators to help keep people visiting their sites, and those in the community, safe,” said Gethsemane Luttrell, director of Public Health Protection & Assessment with Island Health. “Our environmental health officers will visit RV sites and campgrounds to provide the information necessary to ensure compliance of this order.”

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