The Creston Valley Hospital’s chief of staff squashed any rumours about temporary seasonal workers spreading COVID-19 around town on Aug. 6. Aaron Hemens - Creston Valley Advance

Creston Valley Hospital addresses COVID-19 rumours regarding farms

‘Not one seasonal worker in Creston has tested positive for COVID-19,’ said Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

The Town of Creston shared a statement on their Facebook page on Aug. 6, written by the Creston Valley Hospital’s chief of staff, who squashed any rumours about temporary seasonal workers spreading COVID-19 around town.

“Recently, rumours about a COVID-19 outbreak has made the rounds on social media. Many of you have found these rumours convincing, and I’m hoping that this post will help clear up any confusion,” said Dr. Nerine Kleinhans. “As of 8 a.m., Aug. 6, not one seasonal worker in Creston has tested positive for COVID-19.”

READ MORE: Temporary worker camp for cherry-pickers opens in Creston

Kleinhans praised farmers, the town and the Fields Forward agriculture initiative for their efforts in “keeping not only the workers but also the citizens of Creston safe.”

She did however note that there have been positive COVID-19 cases in Creston in the past six months, but did not specify how many.

“These [numbers] will only be made public if Public Health does not feel confident that they reached all the contacts to ensure a sufficient quarantine period,” she wrote.

In June, the Fields Forward Society provided COVID-19 training for 25 local farmers. Since July, the group has hosted additional training sessions for 15 farms and orchards.

Sessions have been led by Ellen Wasser, the group’s COVID-19 coordinator trainer, who was hired to help prepare and educate farmers, workers, pickers and COVID camp coordinators on how to prevent the virus from spreading.

“Attending the COVID-19 orientation helped me get an overview of the issues and protocols, and Field Forward’s COVID coordinator trainer Ellen Wasser was helpful too,” said Don Low, the owner of Quiet Valley Farms.

READ MORE: Money approved for temporary workers camp in the Creston Valley to deal with accommodation issues during COVID-19

“My provincial government inspection of the camp went well, and the inspector said that Creston is far ahead of the Okanagan as far as being prepared for the pickers with COVID-19 protocols in place”

Baldip Smagh of J and B Smagh said that thanks to Wasser’s training, “pickers are listening.”

“Ellen is good. She explained everything, put up signs and helped with the camp set-up,” said Smagh.

Wasser said that pickers have been understanding and co-operative in keeping both orchards and the community safe.

“I have enjoyed working with the farms and farmers during this hard time. They’ve all been welcoming and have gone above and beyond what is required,” said Wasser.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

SD 10 secures $3 million in funding to help build Nakusp Elementary School child care centre

The centre will provide 96 new child-care spaces in the village

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

Man whose crime spree began in Nelson pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for 2017 incidents

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read