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Interior Health COVID-19 Update: 10 deaths, 239 new cases since Dec. 24

Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown said she is deeply saddened to report the deaths of 10 more people in the region.

Interior Health announced Tuesday that there are 10 deaths and 239 new COVID-19 cases to report following the Christmas Holiday break.

In a media release, Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown said she is deeply saddened to report the deaths of 10 more people in the region.

“Our sincere condolences go to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and, as well, to the caregivers who looked after them,” said Brown, adding the holiday count brings the total to 28 in Interior Health.

“As outbreaks continue to occur in long-term care facilities, it demonstrates again how deadly this virus can be, in particular for our elders.

Brown encourages everyone to take the necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“This is why it is so essential that each of us continue to stringently follow the public health guidance we know stops the spread of COVID-19,” Brown said.

Since December 24th, Interior Health is reporting 239 new cases for a total of 3,749.

The breakdown of reporting covers from December 25-29.

  • 96 cases reported on Dec. 26 (covering two days)
  • 47 cases reported on Dec. 27
  • 44 cases reported on Dec. 28
  • 52 cases reported on Dec. 29

There are now 623 cases in Interior Health region that are active and on isolation.

Interior Health is reporting 33 people in hospital and six in ICU.

Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 2,206 new COVID-19 cases, and, sadly, 74 deaths.

"Our condolences go out to all the families who are mourning their loss, to the care providers and to the communities who have lost loved ones," Dr. Henry said.

 "We know that this is the most challenging time to deal with these issues, not only because of COVID but because of the time of year. We mourn with you and feel your loss intensely."

The province's latest infections were identified over five 24-hour reporting periods: 512 were recorded from Thursday to Friday, followed by 447 from Friday to Saturday, 424 from Saturday to Sunday, 442 from Sunday to Monday and 382 from Monday to Tuesday.

Interior Health said reported Tuesday that there were 15 new COVID-19 cases added to the Big White Ski Resort cluster, bringing the total to 111 cases.

Of the 111 known COVID-19 cases link to this cluster, Interior Health said 77 reside on Big White Mountain.

Interior Health said there are currently 17 cases active and on isolation and 94 individuals have recovered.

“We continue to see a small increase in cases, but these are connected to other cases so are not unexpected,” Interior Health said.

“It’s important for people to continue following the safety measures and doing their part to limit further exposures.”

Interior Health said everyone in the Big White community is reminded to avoid social gatherings and that socialization must be limited to immediate household bubbles and asks the public to please follow public health guidance such as physical distancing, washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask.

“The risk remains low for families and individuals visiting Big White Mountain who follow public health guidance,” Interior Health said.

“In other words, it is safe to go to Big White when you stick to your immediate household bubble and avoid socializing and gathering, etc.

Interior Health is continuing outreach COVID-19 testing throughout the Big White community and environmental public health inspections.

Update on outbreaks in Interior Health Region:

  • Noric House long-term care in Vernon has six cases: five residents and one staff.
  • Heritage Square long-term care in Vernon has 10 cases: six residents and four staff.
  • Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna has 30 cases: 25 residents and five staff. There has been one death connected to this outbreak.
  • Teck mining operations has 16 IH cases linked to the outbreak.
  • McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver remains at 75 cases: 54 residents and 21 staff. There have been 12 deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Village by the Station long-term care in Penticton has nine cases: five residents and four staff. There has been one death connected to this outbreak.
  • Mountainview Village long-term care in Kelowna has at 16 cases: eight residents and eight staff. There have been two deaths connected to this outbreak.