Interior Health gives update

Only two more Hepatitis A immunization clinics planned: Dec. 29 and Dec. 30

Clearwater and area residents have two more Hepatitis A immunization clinics they can attend at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital they can attend, according to Courtney Hesketh, manager of environmental health for Interior Health.

This is important because the two-week window for the immunization to be effective is nearly over.

The immunization clinics will be offered at the hospital today (Dec. 29), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Dec 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In an update to the Times, Hesketh reported that as of end of business yesterday (Dec. 27) Interior Health has immunized 336 people in Clearwater, 23 in Kamloops and one in Williams Lake.

The manager of environmental health also reported that two environmental health officers (EHOs) attended Clearwater Diary Queen on Friday, Dec 23, to confirm that the facility had undergone a thorough cleaning and disinfection process.

The EHOs confirmed that the staff had followed all best practices with respect to cleaning and disinfecting all food contact surfaces (i.e. counters) and all “common touch” surfaces (i.e. door handles, washrooms etc).

As the infected food handler is not currently working at the facility there is no ongoing source of infection and all of the other food handlers are undergoing vaccination to ensure that there is no further spread of the virus.

The owner and manager of the Dairy Queen have taken this situation very seriously and have done everything that the EHOs have asked of them, Hesketh said, adding that Interior Health staff have appreciated the level of cooperation and diligence in during this difficult situation.