Port Alberni is becoming a COVID-19 hot spot, worrying the city’s mayor

Port Alberni is becoming a COVID-19 hot spot, worrying the city's mayor
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Port Alberni is becoming a COVID-19 hot spot with people testing positive at its schools, restaurants and an outbreak at its hospital.

On central Vancouver Island, Port Alberni is quickly becoming a COVID-19 hot spot, with heightened numbers as cases across B.C. surge.

Island Health has issued exposure alerts at five of the city’s seven schools and a number of restaurants have shut down because of the number of cases in the community.

Notices on their doors say it’s because of COVID-19.

The Starboard Grill is among them. Its manager says staying closed is not only the right decision customers are too worried about Covid to eat out.

“I think that’s people making the decision to stay at home. I believe Port Alberni is a bit of a hot spot right now and I think people, in general, are doing the right thing and staying home and staying in their bubbles,” said McFadden.

Port Alberni has seen COVID-19 exposure warnings this week at 5 of its 7 schools.

Through contact tracing officials say there’s no indication yet there has been any spread between students.

West Coast General has also seen an outbreak. The number of COVID cases has Port Alberni’s mayor worried.

“We’re hearing regularly now about different exposures whether its at restaurants at schools at a local care facility and now at the hospital and that’s really concerning and especially the schools are concerning and remain concerning for a lot of people because those are our children,” said Mayor Sharie Minions.

The Little Bavaria restaurant closed after the owners and three workers tested positive.

“And it’s not been fun but we have a mild case. We don’t have one with a fever and everything else. We just have flu-like symptoms. We have no energy, you feel nauseated but you can not vomit,” said Kathy Krznaric, an owner.

Krznaric says within a 9 day period, first one staff member tested positive, then two more workers did, and then she and her husband became sick. They then closed. She’s urging caution.

“Please pay attention, wear your mask and stay at home. I hope this is just temporary and we call all pull together and we can all be good together because being sick is no fun.”

Krznaric says they don’t know when they’ll reopen.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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