Social activity in homes and accommodation at Big White Ski Resort has resulted in the transmission of COVID-19. (Contributed)

Social activity in homes and accommodation at Big White Ski Resort has resulted in the transmission of COVID-19. (Contributed)

1 death, 91 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

The death, a woman in her 90s, was not tied to any of the ongoing outbreaks in the region

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m.

Interior Health has now confirmed one new death in addition to previously reported COVID-19 numbers on Wednesday afternoon.

A woman in her 90s has died due to the virus. The death is not associated with any ongoing outbreaks in the Interior Health region.

“We are sad to report an eighth COVID-related death in Interior Health,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown. “Each loss is felt deeply in our communities and our condolences go out to the family, friends and caregivers. As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are all feeling the impacts of this virus across our region. Each of us has a role to play in limiting the spread of COVID-19 as we fight this pandemic together.”


ORIGINAL STORY:

Interior Health (IH) is reporting 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, Dec. 16, as the region nears 3,000 cases since testing began.

A total of 2,998 positive cases of the virus have been found in IH throughout the pandemic, 843 of which remain active.

Twenty-eight people are in hospital with the virus, seven of whom are in intensive care.

Big White cluster

The Big White cluster remains at 60 cases.

During a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, IH’s Central Okanagan medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema told reporters the cluster likely started from a number of sources, not just one case. She said the cases were connected to those who were living on the hill to work in the area and who attended private gatherings, though some had been visitors who did not attend parties.

The accommodations on the hill where most people were testing positive, Mema said, were large households, some with more than 15 people. Individuals were also sharing bedrooms.

Mema admitted, however, cases on the mountain were expected as the virus has been flowing through the Central Okanagan.

The health authority plans to continue hosting testing clinics on the hill on Thursday and Friday, and more next week. Based on the positivity rate, IH will determine how frequently it needs to do testing on the mountain.

READ MORE: Big White employees fired as resort officials curb COVID-19 cluster

READ MORE: RCMP won’t send additional resources to Big White, despite requests

Care homes

The outbreak at Oliver’s McKinney Place long-term care home has grown by five to 58 cases. Forty-one residents and sixteen staff have tested positive at the home. IH announced the death of one resident, yesterday.

Village by the Station long-term care home in Penticton remains at four cases and Kelowna’s Mountain View Village long-term care home remains at seven cases. A man in his 80s previously died in the Mountain View outbreak.

Teck mining outbreak

An outbreak has been declared at a Teck mining operation near Elkford.

Twenty-seven cases, spanning three sites, have been confirmed as of Wednesday. Of those cases, 10 reside in Interior Health, while other cases have been identified in Vancouver Island Health, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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