A coronavirus outbreak at a Kelowna nursing home is one of the “toughest” in the province, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, a provincial health worker.
The outbreak at Cottonwoods Care Center, declared on August 4, has now resulted in 70 cases (55 residents and 15 staff) and 17 deaths.
When asked about the outbreak on Monday, Dr Henry noted that it was first declared when the Kelowna area was experiencing a high number of cases.
“It spread to this care home and it was a very difficult epidemic,” she said.
This is the second outbreak in Cottonwoods. Last spring, 26 residents and three staff members contracted the virus and two residents died before the outbreak was declared over on May 4.
Dr Henry says most Cottonwoods residents are fully vaccinated and booster doses have been offered to those who are eligible.
But the size of the facility and the turnover of residents means there have been “a number” of unvaccinated patients transferred to Cottonwoods.
Staff vaccination rates “were not at a high enough level” before the province implemented its mandate, she added.
The fact that Cottonwoods’ rooms contain multiple beds has made the outbreak “one of the most difficult” to control in British Columbia.