KELOWNA — Seniors at a Kelowna retirement home are being told to wash their hands often. Viral gastrointestinal illness (G.I.) first hit Hawthorn Park Retirement Community earlier this month. While most of the affected residents have now recovered, two seniors are still suffering from the bug.
“A few weeks back, we had an outbreak with a few residents and we’ve had it close to being over,” says general manager Gary Buckberry. “Then all of a sudden, we get another one.”
Buckberry says they’re doing everything they can to keep the infection from continuing to spread, including isolating the residents displaying any symptoms and the people in that general area.
“We make sure that whoever works there, stays there. We also don’t allow visitors to come and go,” explains Buckberry.
Extra measures are also taken to clean any material that could be contaminated with the virus, stepping up hand hygiene and environmental cleaning.
There are five care homes dealing with the flu: three in Penticton, one in Vernon and one in West Kelowna.
But Hawthorn Park is the only centre dealing with G.I..
Interior Health Authority (IHA) says right now is the peak of flu season and can cause serious complications for the elderly or people with chronic illnesses.