Premier Horgan is seen during a discussion on reopening the province’s economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

The province is hiring 500 additional staff to help with contact tracing as B.C. continues to see new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Contact tracing is a tool used to track a person’s whereabouts after they test positive for COVID-19 and contact anyone necessary to let them know they have been exposed to the disease.

“We want to make sure people are kept safe in any COVID-19 outbreak, and one of the ways to do that is through strong contact tracing,” Premier John Horgan said during a news conference on Wednesday (Aug. 12).

“These new contact tracers will provide an extra layer of protection by jumping into action as soon as there is an outbreak, and will start their detective-style work to find out who may be infected in order to protect all British Columbians.”

Some of those hired will also help in supporting public health services from education about the virus to immunizing for influenza in the fall.

Reducing the number of people with the flu helps alleviate the burden on provincial laboratory testing infrastructure and protects acute-care capacity in B.C.’s hospitals as respiratory illness season approaches this fall, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.

“When there is a community outbreak, time is of the essence,” she said. “These new contact tracers will work with existing public health teams to help track down all those who may have been exposed and support people to self-isolate when necessary.

“This role becomes even more crucial to contain the spread as we continue to open up our schools, economy and social activities, and as we prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season this fall.”

Those hired will begin working in September and likely be employed until the end of March 2021, the province said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley students mark Orange Shirt Day

Sept. 30 initiative aims to raise awareness about government-run residential schools

How Langley football star Chase Claypool was nicknamed “Mapletron”

A reference to all-time NFL great Calvin Johnson Jr.

Air quality across the Lower Mainland could worsen slightly

AQ health index could see ‘low risk’ gravitate into ‘moderate risk’ from Vancouver to Hope

Langley invited to take part in virtual National Seniors Day gathering

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons invites people to take part in an Oct. 1 event online

ELECTION: Libertarian Alex Joehl to run in Langley East

Second provincial run by Murrayville resident

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Burnaby RCMP search for suspects after man racially abused, has coffee thrown on him

Police treating the incident as a hate crime and assault

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Surrey police probe serious crashes, one fatal

Police want to talk to witnesses or anyone who might have dash-cam video

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read