The Hope River General Store in Emory Creek is the site of a public COVID-19 exposure, Fraser Health stated. Anyone who visited the store on Aug. 6, 7, 13 or 14 should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms the health authority recommends. (Google Maps photo)

Fraser Health warns of possible COVID-19 public exposure at Fraser Canyon gas station

Visitors to Hope River General Store Aug. 6, 7, 13 or 14 should self-monitor for symptoms

Fraser Health is alerting the public of a possible COVID-19 exposure at a Fraser Canyon gas station and restaurant.

The Hope River General Store, which houses a gas station, gift shop and restaurant along the Trans-Canada Highway 20 kilometres from Hope, is the site of a ‘possible public COVID-19 exposure.’

The health authority is recommending anyone who was at the store on the following dates and times to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19:

n Aug. 6 between 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

n Aug. 7 between 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

n Aug. 13 between 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

n Aug. 14 between 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Common symptoms listed by Fraser Health include “fever, chills, cough or worsening of chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting and/or muscle aches.”

The store is listed on Fraser Health’s public exposures website, alongside an exposure at a Surrey hookah lounge, a Surrey rave, as well as two pubs in Coquitlam. This is the first such exposure to be shared publicly by Fraser Health for the Hope area.

In a statement, store manager Jolena Hope confirmed that “anyone that has been in close contact with the exposure has had no symptoms or have tested negative thus far.”

Hope made the decision to close the establishment last week, a step which is not mandated by the health authority, and have all staff complete a 14-day isolation period.

Pre-existing cleaning and sanitizing routines will continue, Hope said, with the store once again open.

Staff are now required to wear masks and “we will work harder at enforcing our limit of people in the store at any given time” she added.

Hope thanked her staff for their cooperation during this time and to all the customers who continue to support the general store.

“The realization is, this could happen anywhere at any time, and it’s a good reminder for everyone to keep vigilant in protecting yourself and our community,” she stated.

Read more: Fraser Health’s list of public COVID-19 exposures

The health authority lists public exposures like this one on their website when all those who may have been exposed cannot be reached or identified through contact tracing alone.

“If you have been in one of these locations at the times of possible exposure, it does not mean you will develop COVID-19,” Fraser Health stated.

“The possible exposures listed on this site are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, public health asks anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms.”

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A message posted to Facebook about the COVID-19 exposure, by Hope River General Store manager Jolena Hope. (Facebook screenshot)

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