A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)

Valentine’s marks one-year since COVID-19 reached Interior Health

A person at a West Kelowna long-term care home has died due to the virus

Interior Health is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death Friday (Feb. 12).

The update brings the total number of cases in the region since testing began to 6,916, of which 880 remain active. The virus has now caused 84 deaths in the region.

The additional death was recorded at Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna, and comes just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in the region, which took place on Valentine’s Day 2020.

“It was Feb. 14, 2020, that we saw COVID reach our region after seeing it spread around the world, country and province. After a year of responding to this challenging pandemic, sadly we continue to experience its impact. Today we are reporting another person from long-term care has passed away due to COVID-19,” said IH president and CEO Susan Brown.

“We send our condolences to the loved ones and caregivers during this difficult time.”

Ahead of this year’s Valentine’s Day weekend, Brown urged members of the public to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus.

“Refrain from gathering, follow public health guidance and connect with loved ones, virtually.”

Forty-three people are hospitalized with 13 in critical care. A total of 5,951 have recovered.

One additional case was linked to the Big White cluster, while 11 additional cases were announced in connection to the Williams Lake area cluster. The cluster in the Fernie region saw no additional cases.

The health authority provided the following update on other outbreaks in the region:

  • Carrington Place in Vernon has two cases: one resident and one staff. There is one active case.
  • Highridge/Singh House group home in Kamloops has nine cases: one resident and eight staff. There are seven active cases.
  • Westsyde Care Residence group home in Kamloops has 29 cases: 16 residents and 13 staff, with one death connected to this outbreak. There are 18 active cases.
  • Royal Inland Hospital has 105 cases: 36 patients and 69 staff, with one death connected to this outbreak. There are 32 active cases.
  • Cariboo Memorial Hospital has 14 cases: 12 staff and two patients. There are no active cases.
  • Brocklehurst Gemstone long-term care in Kamloops has 31 cases: 23 residents and eight staff, with two deaths connected to this outbreak. There are eight active cases.
  • Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver has 38 cases: 27 residents, 11 staff/other, with six deaths connected to this outbreak. There are eight active cases.
  • Creekside Landing long-term care in Vernon has 40 cases: 25 residents and 15 staff, with one death connected to this outbreak. There are two active cases.
  • Noric House long-term care in Vernon has 67 cases: 39 residents and 28 staff, with 10 deaths connected to this outbreak. There are eight active cases.
  • Heritage Square long-term care in Vernon has 70 cases: 47 residents and 23 staff, with nine deaths connected to this outbreak. There are six active cases.

READ MORE: COVID-19 death at retirement residence in West Kelowna

READ MORE: Northern B.C. gold mine latest industrial site to deal with COVID-19


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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