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Our View: We were a ‘hot spot,’ now let’s move on

The Gazette considered Grand Forks’ spate of COVID cases over the first week of June

Most readers will have heard that Grand Forks was a COVID-19 “hot spot” last week. Queue Facebook sleuths, armchair pundits and a cloud of fear and suspicion. Let’s switch tack and put recent events in perspective, shall we?

The 11 cases we saw across our local health area were a statistical blip on what’s otherwise been a fairly quiet radar screen. That the number was held at 11 would suggest a reasonably swift, effective response by the proper authorities, namely the Interior Health Authority (IH) and School District 51 (SD51).

There would have been a logistical flurry of COVID-testing, contact tracing and information sharing, none of which made it into the news. It’s just as well that they didn’t, because these specifics aren’t for us to know.

There was no outbreak, IH confirmed more than once. The Gazette would have reported it if there had been.

The Gazette reports when and where there are potential exposures at any school within the health authority’s remit, as well as those reported by SD51. A robust press should always report on matters of public health, according to the best available information from credible sources.

But it’s not the media’s job to single out individuals who may have a potentially deadly virus — not now, not ever. These people are our neighbours, our co-workers and our friends. They could be your family members.

Next, Facebook is not a reliable source of information about COVID-19. Hearing that there have been x-number of recent cases does not amount to an outbreak. We can say that it does, but the designation would carry no bearing whatsoever.

Finally, we can safely protect ourselves and our loved ones without knowing where infected people live or where they work.

We’ve come this far without breaking down. We can make it to “the new normal” — whenever that comes.

— Laurie Tritschler