LETTER: To the community from the family doctors of Castlegar

Twelve physicians urge caution as COVID-19 cases increase

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Dear friends,

We join in your excitement as we start to feel that our lives are normal again. It has been so wonderful to hug friends, see family, host a party and watch sports in person.

But we are writing to caution you that COVID-19 is not gone. Wherever vaccination rates are lower we are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 and this includes Castlegar! In the last week we have had approximately 15 cases (number taken from informal survey of our three clinics. IH official numbers will be available next week). This means there will be many more next week.

These cases are almost exclusively in those who have not been vaccinated. If you have been on the fence, thinking that you don’t need a vaccine because we don’t have COVID-19 here, please reconsider. As travel and activities open up, we will see increased risk of spread in the unvaccinated population. Remember that kids under 12 cannot be be vaccinated and some people (e.g. those on chemotherapy) may not respond to the vaccine as well. So when we have a big chunk of people not vaccinating, we are not just making a choice for ourselves, but also increasing the risk to the members of our community who can’t get a vaccine or don’t get as much protection from the vaccine.

Vaccines are readily available, both by registering and at drop in clinics. Visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/response for information on how to get a vaccine.

In the meantime, if you have not been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated, we encourage you to continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

Finally, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested and self-isolate until your results are back. Do not assume it is not COVID-19!

Castlegar, it is so great to see all of the things we love on the horizon. Please do your part to help ensure we get to do all the things we want this fall — school, sports, theatre, family meals and travel. Vaccines, testing and staying home when sick are the way to achieve this.

Thank you.

Dr. Megan Taylor, Dr. Ellen Smart, Dr. Lisa Vasil, Dr. Meghan Jensen, Dr. David Larocque, Dr. Mehrdad Roshdibenam, Dr. Denis Thibodeau, Dr. My Tram Van, Dr. Erin Charman, Dr. Andy Cromp, Dr. Bbandama Makwati and Dr. Kamyar Ghaffari