Interior Health to review McKinney Place outbreak

·2 min read

Interior Health is ordering a review for “lessons learned” from the outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver, after 17 residents died in just over a month.

The focus of the review will be around multi-bed units in long-term care facilities, according to Carl Meadows, South Okanagan executive director of clinical operations for Interior Health.

“With McKinney, I’ve requested a review for lessons learned,” Meadows told the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District Board while giving an update on COVID-19 in the South Okanagan at their Jan. 21 meeting.

A total of 55 residents tested positive at the facility out of the 59 who lived there at the beginning of the outbreak in December, 2020. Interior Health has previously stated the spread of COVID-19 at the facility was partially due to a lack of single-bed rooms to isolate residents who have tested positive. McKinney Place is an older facility which does have more congregation areas and has fewer private rooms than some newer long-term care facilities, which may have contributed to the spread, Interior Health officials previously stated.

“There’s going to be more awareness around these four-bed long term care units and how to do something about them in the near future because it was very difficult to cordon off or cohort infected patients with four-bed units,” Meadows said.

In the South Okanagan, including Penticton and Summerland, COVID-19 case numbers are down, but so are the number of tests, Meadows said.

“Our COVID numbers in the community are dropping but we have had obviously some significant events at places that have been made public so it has been a very long few months, we’re still in an incident command structure in the South Okanagan,” Meadows said.

“Our numbers are going down, what we don’t know is our testing numbers are also down, so we don’t know if people are getting tested and of course now we’ve got the Pfizer vaccine that has been delayed and Moderna.”

Right now, Interior Health’s primary focus is on the vaccination of long-term care and assisted living staff and residents with priority vaccinations for emergency/intensive care staff and COVID units in Penticton, Meadows said.

“(COVID-19) has tested our health system like we’ve never experienced and McKinney was the latest example where it was very challenging. But I can assure you our teams are nothing short of amazing, you’re in very good hands in the South Okanagan,” Meadows said.

Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle