An outbreak of respiratory illness at the Terraceview Lodge in Terrace is not related to COVID-19.
The notice of the outbreak was posted on the Northern Health website as a standard precaution whenever more than two people have the same illness that can be traced back to one source or cause.
Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins confirmed the outbreak is not related to the novel coronavirus.
“These are not, to the best of my knowledge, related to COVID-19,” said Colllins. “We do not have any COVID-19 outbreaks in any Northern Health facilities.
“The medical health officer declared an outbreak of respiratory illness on Thursday and we routinely post information about facility-based outbreaks on our website.”
The outbreak is confined to the Lakelse Unit of the lodge and visitors to the facility are advised to consider postponing those visits until the outbreak ends. Collins did not reveal the number of people infected.
“The threshold for declaring an outbreak in any longterm care facility, regardless of what the illness ends up being confirmed at through testing, is really low because as soon as the outbreak is declared there’s additional infectional control and precautions that are immediately put in place to manage it and end it as soon as possible,” Collins said.
Because of the highly-infectious and potentially lethal nature of COVID-19, that threshold for declaring an outbreak, as determined by the provincial health officer, is one single case. There have been 26 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Northern Health region.
In the event of an outbreak related to respiratory illness, Collins said health officials will test swabs for all types of infections, including influenza, gastrointestinal illnesses (norovirus), respiratory syncytial virus and Clostridium difficile (C. diff.).