Interior Health (IH) has declared a COVID-19 outbreak on unit 6 South at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which has resulted in the death of one person.
The outbreak was declared on Jan. 22, when it was reported that six patients and two staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. As of Jan. 27, the outbreak had spread, with 23 patients and 43 staff members testing positive and one elderly patient dying in connection with the outbreak.
Patients with COVID-19 from 6 South who cannot be discharged are isolating in the COVID unit or on 6 South. Patients who are able to be discharged are isolating at home, as are all affected staff members.
Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital. Patients admitted after surgery will receive care on a different floor, and 6 South is closed to admissions until further notice.
Interior Health said the hospital is safe to attend for appointments or emergency care, and self isolation is not required after visiting Royal Inland.
“Our staff and physicians have worked hard to keep COVID-19 out of the hospital, which was no simple feat considering the number of communities served by RIH,” said medical health officer Dr. Carol Fenton. “Now we will work together to quickly contain this outbreak and support the staff and patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“I understand the public will be anxious about the news of this outbreak at their hospital. It is important, however, that people remain calm and know that a highly skilled team is working to quickly contain this outbreak. Please help us support staff and patients by following all public health precautions as you go about your daily activities.”
A team of infection control and communicable disease specialists, along with RIH clinical staff and leaders, are meeting daily to ensure all measures are being taken to prevent transmission of the virus.
Interior Health has identified an additional 53 cases of COVID-19 linked to a community cluster in the Williams Lake area (Cariboo Chilcotin local health area). The cluster was first declared on Jan. 20.
Since Jan. 1, a total of 268 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Cariboo Chilcotin local health region, and 165 cases are currently active. Most of the transmission occurred at recent social events and gatherings.
As of Jan. 20, the BC Centre for Disease Control was reporting that one person has currently tested positive for COVID-19 in the South Cariboo local health area, which includes Spences Bridge, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton. The “Cases by Local Health Area” map is updated every Wednesday afternoon, and can be found at http://bit.ly/2LREQGu.
Anyone in the IH region who would like to book a COVID-19 test can do so online via the COVID-19 test booking form at http://bit.ly/3piGvTY. You can also book by phone by calling the test booking line at 1-877-740-7747.
With files by Greg Sabatino