This sign was put up at McKinney Place in Oliver to thank the heroes working through Okanagan's deadliest outbreak of COVID-19. (Facebook)

Seven dead and 73 infected with COVID-19 at South Okanagan long-term care home

The outbreak claimed four more lives over the weekend

Seven residents have died of COVID-19 at McKinney Place in Oliver.

The tragic announcement of even more deaths at the long term care home came on Monday, Dec. 21.

There are now 73 total cases at McKinney Place: 53 residents and 20 staff.

Three residents died last week at the long- term care home.

“This has been a challenging outbreak for everyone who lives at McKinney, their loved ones, and their staff and physicians who are committed to their care,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health (IH) president and CEO.

“On behalf of everyone at Interior Health we send our condolences to the families and caregivers and despite this tragic news, we remain committed to the fight against COVID-19.”

Total number of deaths in IH has risen to 17, said IH in their daily media release.

“Today is our most tragic report since the beginning of this devastating pandemic. Seven more people have lost their lives to COVID-19 throughout Interior Health. Some passed peacefully in long-term care while others were in hospital, and in each case I share sincere condolences to their loved ones and caregivers,” said Brown on Monday.

“It’s never easy to lose a member of our community, especially now after we have come so far in the fight against COVID-19. I urge everyone to redouble your efforts and focus on the important public health guidance that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 so that we may protect ourselves and loved ones this holiday season.”

COVID-19 claimed its first victim at McKinney Place early last week, when Evelyn Patridge died of the virus on Dec. 13.

READ MORE: One in hospital, one dead and several sick from outbreak at Oliver home

Since the outbreak, IH brought in additional staff from around the Okanagan to maintain the staffing levels at the facility. The health authority has also increased communication efforts with family members.

Interior Health stated the reason the virus spread so quickly is because there are four to a room and the aging facility is smaller than newer ones.

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