BC Provincial health said Monday the province registered 21 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, with nearly one-third happening in Interior Health.
The news came during the weekend COVID-19 update provided by Interior Health — now totalling 75 in the region.
“I’m sad to report that Interior Health lost another six people to COVID-19 over the weekend,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health.
“While some of these individuals were living in long-term care homes, others were members of our community who passed in hospital.”
Three of the deaths were reported at retirement homes in the Okanagan — one each at Noric House and Heritage Square in Vernon and the third at Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna.
The other three deaths were in the community/hospital.
“I want to offer my condolences to the families and caregivers,” Brown added.
“We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of COVID-19, so continue to use your layers of protection, stick to your immediate household and only travel if absolutely necessary to help us fight this pandemic, together.”
BC reported 1,158 cases of the novel coronavirus since Friday — 408 between Friday and Saturday, 473 between Saturday and Sunday and only 277 between Sunday and Monday.
Interior Health reported 44 new cases Monday.
Monday, Interior Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Westsyde Care Residences group home in Kamloops.
Interior Health said nine residents and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. All individuals in close contact with these individuals are in self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms.
Interior Health said Westsyde Care Residences is a privately operated group home for people with brain and spinal cord injuries with several of the 21 beds publicly funded for IH clients.
IH communicable disease specialists and a clinical operations team will continue to monitor the situation.
Interior Health said additional infection control and preventive measures have been implemented and IH is providing other resources as required to stop the transmission of the virus.
Monday, Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said BC has identified 18 cases of the U.K. and South African coronavirus variants, including seven that were confirmed over the weekend.
The province has now recorded a total of 14 cases of the U.K. variant and four of the South African variant B.1351, which shares some of the same mutations.
"These variants have been associated with increased transmission in a number of countries around the world, and we have implemented surveillance for them here in B.C.," Dr. Henry said.
"All 14 of the B.1.117 variant cases have been in returning travellers or people who had contact with a traveller, while three of the B.1.351 cases were not travel related and investigation into where they were acquired continues."
Update on Interior Health outbreaks:
- Outbreak declared at Westsyde Care Residences in Kamloops. There are nine residents and three staff connected to this outbreak.
- Royal Inland Hospital has 81 total cases: 30 patients and 51 staff, with one death connected to this outbreak.
- Cariboo Memorial Hospital has 14 cases: 12 staff and two patients. (the patients are not new cases, but are previous cases now being connected to the outbreak identified during the investigation)
- Brocklehurst Gemstone long-term care in Kamloops has 24 cases: 16 residents and eight staff, with two deaths connected to this outbreak.
- Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver has 37 cases: 27 residents, 10 staff, with five deaths connected to this outbreak.
- Creekside Landing long-term care in Vernon has 40 cases: 25 residents and 15 staff, with one death connected to this outbreak.
- Noric House long-term care in Vernon has 67 cases: 38 residents and 29 staff, with nine deaths connected to this outbreak.
- Heritage Square long-term care in Vernon has 68 cases: 47 residents and 21 staff, with nine deaths connected to this outbreak.
- Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna has 46 cases: 41 residents and five staff, with four deaths connected to this outbreak.