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Three COVID-19 outbreaks declared at long-term care homes in B.C.’s Southern Interior

The Village by the Station long-term care home in Penticton is one of three care facilities in B.C.'s Southern Interior where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared.
The Village by the Station long-term care home in Penticton is one of three care facilities in B.C.'s Southern Interior where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared. Courtesy: The Village by the Station

Two more long-term care home COVID-19 outbreaks were announced over the weekend in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

One staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at The Village by the Station long-term care facility in Penticton, and an outbreak has been declared by Interior Health.

The Penticton facility is privately owned and operated with 100 publicly-funded long-term care beds.

Read more: Coronavirus: Outbreak declared at long-term care home in Kelowna

In Kamloops, a staff member also tested positive for COVID-19 at The Hamlets at Westsyde long-term care home.

Interior Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in units C1 and C2 at the privately-owned and operated facility, which has 109 publicly funded beds.

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On Friday, the health authority said a staff member in the Belgo unit at Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna has tested positive for COVID-19.

In all three cases, no residents are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for the virus.

“IH will continue to monitor the situation while implementing additional infection control and preventive measures,” Interior Health said in a news release issued on Sunday night.

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Outbreak protocols have been implemented in the affected units including a temporary pause in visits, IH said.

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Contact tracing is underway and anyone who may have been exposed will be asked to self-monitor or self-isolate.

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Interior Health says it’s continuing its efforts to try to keep the virus out of long-term care homes, where vulnerable seniors reside.

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The health authority is ensuring staff is only working at one care home, per the provincial single site health order.

IH is also monitoring all residents for respiratory symptoms and conducting COVID-19 testing on anyone who becomes symptomatic, it said.

Meanwhile, Interior Health declared a coronavirus outbreak at the Village at Mill Creek long-term care home in Kelowna over.

Two staff members were infected, but no transmission occurred within the care home and no residents contracted the virus, IH said.

Interior Health says it ensures all long-term care homes are complying with the provincial order for single-site staffing by monitoring a provincial data system.

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All facilities are required to report their staffing into the database and IH has not substantiated cases where a care home was not in compliance with the order.

Of note, no long-term residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at any home in the entire Interior Health region.

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On Friday, Interior Health surpassed 1,000 total cases since the pandemic began.

“Unlike many milestones, this is not one to celebrate,” said Dr. Albert De. Villiers, chief medical health officer with the Interior Health Authority.

“It is an important reminder of how we should all focus on the precautions that protect ourselves, our loved ones, and communities; especially right now as our cases are on the rise.”

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IH reported 42 new cases on Friday and 173 cases are active and in isolation.

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One person is in hospital, in the intensive care unit. An update is expected on Monday.

There are currently 14 school exposures in the Interior Health region. A full list can be found here.

The public is urged to stick to their household bubble, stay home when sick, and look at alternate ways to connect with those outside their bubble.

“Please continue to follow public health guidance and encourage your families and friends to do the same. This is a challenging time for everyone – together, we will get through it,” Villiers said.