A B.C. Liberal MLA and his family have tested positive for COVID-19.

Mike Bernier, who represents Peace River South and is former Mayor of Dawson Creek, made the announcement on his Twitter yesterday (Sunday), saying he and his family are now in isolation.

“This came as a shock to all of us as we have been following all the public health guidelines, such as physical distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding indoor gatherings,” he said in his statement.

Bernier says he was exposed prior to being vaccinated on April 26, and public health officials told him he was not infectious when at the Legislature from April 19-22.

Dawson Creek and the surrounding area have been dealing with a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to the B.C. CDC, Peace River South has reported 66 cases of COVID-19 from April 18 to 24, marking 541 total infections in the area over the course of six weeks.

“I want to encourage everyone to get their vaccination as soon as possible. I caught the virus while following all protocols. The vaccine – any of the vaccines available – offer an added layer of protection. It will help all of us get back to a normal life,” said Bernier on Twitter.

Dawson Creek currently has the highest rate of transmission in the province, and health officials have taken a full-community approach for vaccinations.

It is one of 13 communities hosting additional AstraZeneca vaccine clinics, and the only one outside of the lower mainland.