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IHA working to vaccinate staff at Kelowna long-term care home amid COVID-19 outbreak

A death has been connected to a COVID-19 outbreak at a Kelowna care centre. Global News

Officials with Interior Health continue to keep a very close eye on the COVID-19 vaccination of staff at Kelowna’s largest long-term care facility.

“It is an ongoing effort to make sure we vaccinate all the staff,” said Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer of Interior Health (IHA)

An outbreak of COVID-19 was declared at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna last Sunday.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna long-term care facility despite vaccinations

So far, though, only 65 per cent of staff have received their first dose of the vaccine, which is raising some questions.

During a news conference Friday morning, de Villiers did his best to reassure the public as to why the remaining 35 per cent of staff of that facility have yet to roll up their sleeve. He noted it is not because they are refusing to do so.

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Click to play video: 'IHA monitoring staff vaccinations at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna' IHA monitoring staff vaccinations at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna
IHA monitoring staff vaccinations at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna – Mar 12, 2021

“It’s never going to be 100 per cent (of staff)” he noted.

“We are working towards getting as many staff as possible vaccinated but there’s different reasons why people do not take a vaccine. It’s not like we are blaming anyone like ‘Oh, he didn’t take the vaccine so, this is happening’ – that’s not the case at all. The point is we are constantly vaccinating people. Our staff are really dedicated and want to make sure we protect the elders as well.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Okanagan residents report COVID-19 vaccine booking challenges

While Interior Health continues to investigate the reason behind the outbreak at Cottonwoods, de Villiers shed some light as to where it started.

“This particular (outbreak) started at the facilities short-stay unit.”

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As of Friday morning, there are 13 positive cases of COVID-19 at Cottonwoods Care Centre including 11 residents and two staff members.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry announces new health order for outdoor social gatherings in B.C – Mar 11, 2021

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