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COVID-19 outbreaks at Okanagan health facilities on the rise

Vernon Jubilee Hospital . Megan Turcato / Global News

Two hospitals in B.C.’s Okanagan are now listed on Interior Health’s COVID-19 outbreak page.

Vernon Jubilee Hospital joined Kelowna General Hospital on the list Thursday, and Interior Health officials said there are five cases associated with that outbreak.  There are 21 cases now related to the Kelowna hospital outbreak.

In addition to the two hospitals, there are around eight care homes within the Southern Interior that now have an outbreak listed. The Okanagan share consists of two in Penticton, one in Vernon, one in West Kelowna and another in Kelowna. The full list can be found on the Interior Health website.

In recent weeks, there were almost no outbreaks listed.

British Columbia’s latest weekly data report shows the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals has climbed more than 33 per cent.

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On Thursday there were 485 cases in hospitals, up from 364. However, the number of patients in critical or intensive care climbed by just two, to 38.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Cases in B.C. hospitals up 43 per cent since mid-March

“The hospitalizations are a source of concern. It means there’s more COVID in the community, it means that test positivity is higher, it means people need to take care on the one hand,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

“On the other hand, what we’re seeing is consistently low levels in critical care which is obviously good news for people with the most severe illness.”

– with files from Global New’s Simon Little

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