VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A dentist who attended a conference in downtown Vancouver last week has COVID-19, says a medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
However, Dr. John Harding said the risk to anyone else who attended the Pacific Dental Conference on March 6 is low.
“The way that this disease is spread is the same as other droplet diseases like influenza, so people have to have either direct contact or they have to touch a surface that the other person has touched or sneezed on,” he added.
Someone who went to Pacific Dental Conference in #Vancouver is self-isolating after possible exposure to #COVID-19. It happened 2pm – 4pm March 6th at Vancouver Convention Centre. @VCHhealthcare is advising anyone there during that time to monitor for symptoms. @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 12, 2020
Harding also said the infected dentist, who was at the Vancouver Convention Centre between 2 and 4 p.m. that day, recently travelled to Germany and is one of the 46 people who’ve previously tested positive for the virus in B.C.
The dentist with COVID-19 is now recovering at home and there is no ongoing risk to the community, nor is there any further risk posed at the Vancouver Convention Centre, according to a release from Vancouver Coastal Health.
“I appreciate that a lot of people are very concerned about the risk of getting COVID. I want to reassure people that there is no risk if people are asymptomatic. It’s safe to go see your dentist.”
However, Vancouver Coastal Health, as precaution, is advising participants who attended the Pacific Dental Conference during those hours to monitor themselves for symptoms for up to 14 days and to call HealthLink BC at 811 for advice if they develop them.