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No new COVID-19 cases at Kamloops hospital but surgeries still impacted

Royal Inland Hospital.
February 18, 2021 - 3:09 PM

The COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops has stabilized at 105 cases, the same as last week, but it has not yet been declared over by Interior Health.

In the most recent testing of staff, none of the 60 COVID-19 tests came back positive but there are still 10 active cases. In all, 36 patients and 69 staff have been infected, with one person dying.

“We are still adjusting the way we’re scheduling into the operating rooms at Royal Inland, mainly just to ensure that we’re not impacting our inpatient adequacy until we’re quite satisfied that it’s OK for us to do that,” Karen Bloemink, vice-president of pandemic response for Interior Health said in a news briefing today, Feb. 18. “We do continue to postpone some in person surgeries and change the schedule for some daycare surgeries.”

The health authority is ramping up to move into the next phase of vaccinations, which will include seniors over the age of 80 living in the community, but she would not give any hint of when that might start.

No update was given for the cluster of cases at Big White Ski Resort as testing results won’t be released until tomorrow. Only one case was recorded last week but Interior Health’s chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers is reluctant to declare the cluster over.

Unlike other ski hills, where cases have come in a rush and then eased off, the situation at Big White keeps going in “dribs and drabs,” he said. Testing is still being done every Wednesday at the mountain.

“We don’t want to have people go back to what they were doing before,” Dr. de Villiers said. “We want to make sure people are vigilant. As long as there are cases, we’ll keep this open.”

Most of the 236 cases associated with the ski hill have been among staff who live in shared accommodation.

The recently declared outbreak at Carrington Place, an assisted care facility in Vernon, has increased to two cases, one staff and one resident.

The outbreak at the Brocklehurst care home in Kamloops has grown to 32 people from 25 last week, including 24 residents. The outbreak at the Highridge Home and Singh House group homes in Kamloops has grown to 13 from seven last week.

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