Mayor Bumstead concerned with COVID-19 case spike

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead wants to expand vaccine clinics for residents 18 and old…

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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead wants to expand vaccine clinics for residents 18 and older.

He is very concerned about the number of COVID-19 cases in the city, and he took to Facebook Monday to comment on the issue.

According to data from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Peace River South recorded 74 new cases from March 14th to 20th. By comparison, Peace River North had only 25 cases in the same period.

“It was evident to me in my interactions in the community and through social media, the number of confirmed cases is much different right now than it ever has,” says Bumstead. “It’s been impacting our community in a much different way than ever before.”

The spike in cases in the Peace River South area is concerning because it is the highest one-week jump in months. The closest week was the period of February 21st to 27th when 33 cases were recorded. Most weeks, there are less than 20 cases recorded.

Mayor Bumstead indicated his plans to adopt a similar vaccine program as Hudson’s Hope, Tumbler Ridge, and Chetwynd, where residents 18 years and older can book vaccine appointments.

“Because of the concern about the spread of the virus in my community, I reached out to Northern Health and said, as a result of what I’m seeing and how it’s impacting our community, is there any way to offer that widespread vaccination option to our community?”

Northern Health responded saying that it was discussing that option with the provincial health officials, but Bumstead understands there is a lot of planning involved.

“Do they have the availability of the vaccine, at that volume, to come into a community of 13,000 people and offer it? And then do you have the staff in order to deliver it as well? The complexities of vaccine availability and having staff will certainly impact whether Northern Health can do it or not, but I appreciated the fact that they’ve responded and are looking into it.”

While neither flashy nor technical, Bumstead stands by the three easiest ways to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

“Wash your hands, wear a mask, and social distance. That’s something we can all do to try and curb the spread of the virus in our community.”

Bumstead understands the frustration people have with the pandemic, but he says the way to get back to normal is to follow guidelines and trust science.

“I want to go shopping at my local grocery store and buy products without wearing a mask. The way we accomplish that is science and medicine. Science and medicine have defeated viruses in our history. Measles, polio, you name it. Science and medicine will put this behind us.”

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