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Coronavirus: Officials report one death, 70 new cases for Interior Health

An electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which cause COVID-19. The Associated Press

On the one-year anniversary of B.C. reporting its first case of COVID-19, health officials announced one death and 70 new cases for the Interior Health region on Thursday.

The death, which occurred in an undisclosed community, pushed the region’s death total since the pandemic began to 69.

With the 70 new cases, the region’s number of total cases since the pandemic began is now at 6,080.

Read more: Coronavirus: Data shows drop in Central Okanagan confirmed cases

Of those, 4,972 have recovered, though 48 are currently in hospital, with 17 in critical care.

“As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in our province, we are sad to report another death has occurred in our community,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health.

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“On behalf of everyone at Interior Health during this solemn one-year milestone, we send our condolences to the loved ones and caregivers of the person who lost their life, and to everyone who has lost someone during this pandemic.

“This has been a challenging year and we will not forget the sacrifice and struggle so many people have been through in the fight against COVID-19. Let us honour them by maintaining our focus and efforts to bend the curve and stop the spread of the virus.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. marks one year of COVID-19' B.C. marks one year of COVID-19
B.C. marks one year of COVID-19 – Jan 28, 2021

In related news, the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) issued a statement regarding a potential COVID-19 exposure.

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The PIB statement said the potential exposure dates were Monday, Jan. 25, and Tuesday, Jan. 26.

“To protect all PIB staff, community members, and visitors, all PIB offices and facilities will be temporarily closed, with staff working from home until Monday, February 1, 2021,” said the PIB.

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“This will allow for thorough disinfecting and to give time for health authorities to complete contact tracing.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. government seeking advice on potential further steps for COVID-19 rule-breakers' B.C. government seeking advice on potential further steps for COVID-19 rule-breakers
B.C. government seeking advice on potential further steps for COVID-19 rule-breakers – Jan 26, 2021

The statement continued, adding “as this is a stressful time we would like to encourage that, along with symptom checking and instituting isolation protocols, please check on your mental health.

“Once you have determined that you are as safe and healthy as you can be, phone a friend or family member to make sure that they are OK as well.”

Below are the updated outbreak numbers for long-term care homes in the Okanagan.

  • Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver: 37 cases (27 residents, 10 staff) with five deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Creekside Landing long-term care in Vernon: 39 cases (25 residents, 14 staff) with one death connected to this outbreak.
  • Heritage Square long-term care in Vernon: 68 cases (47 residents, 21 staff) with eight deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Noric House long-term care in Vernon: 64 cases (37 residents, 27 staff) with eight deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna: 46 cases (41 residents, 5 staff) with three deaths connected to this outbreak.

To view the B.C. CDC’s daily online dashboard regarding COVID-19 data, click here.

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