COURTENAY, BC - Northgate Church can confirm that multiple positive COVID-19 cases have been traced to Consumed Youth Conference, a gathering hosted in Courtenay, BC on the weekend of November 19-21, 2021.
On Tuesday, November 23, the leadership of Consumed and Northgate Church received notice of several attendees of the conference testing positive for COVID-19.
To encourage prompt isolation and contact tracing, the event leadership team contacted all group leaders who attended the conference that Tuesday night to inform them of the positive COVID-19 cases. This step was affirmed by Island Health the following day, who then started working alongside of Northgate to limit the spread by the virus through contact tracing, testing and self-isolation orders.
After cancelling the 2020 conference, the leadership team decided to move forward with this year's event in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols as laid out by the BC government.Prior to the conference, the leadership team elected to include additional safety precautions, beyond what was mandated by the BC government regarding religious gatherings. While spaces were cleaned and sanitized and hand sanitizer was made available, the team also communicated with group leaders, staff and attendees that mask wearing was required.
In the week following Consumed, test results have shown that many have contracted COVID-19.
The following is a statement from Evan Allnutt, lead pastor of Northgate Church:
“We acknowledge the dangerous and transferable nature of COVID-19. We also remain vigilant in our adherence to the direction and advice of public health as we take proactive steps forward. Our effort was to, within the provincial guidelines, as we understood them, give young people a chance to meet with God, find hope in this challenging time, and be strengthened to continue to live full and vibrant lives.
We have been sincerely praying for all of you, whether we’ve heard from you or not. We will do our best to maintain a united front with you all in fighting against COVID-19. God bless you all as you journey in this complex, overwhelming season that we are walking through.“
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Northgate Church has operated continuously under the directives provided by the BC Ministry of Health, BC Centre for Disease Control and all applicable orders issued by the Provincial Health Officer. We continue to learn and seek direction from public health and medical professionals about how best to respond to the current pandemic and how to keep our community safe and protected now and in the future.
Northgate will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.
For further information please contact:
Next Steps Pastor