B.C.'s provincial health officer declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver officially over.
Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the end of the outbreak, which claimed the lives of 17 McKinney Place residents, Monday during the province's regularly scheduled press conference in Victoria.
A total of 23 staff members and 54 of the 59 residents who lived at McKinney Place at the beginning of the outbreak had tested positive.
"We are very thankful that McKinney place has been under control. That was a very challenging outbreak in Interior Health and we know 17 people in the McKinney Place community lost their lives to COVID in that outbreak," Henry said.
Interior Health announced residents at both McKinney Place and Sunnybank Retirement Centre received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 8
Minister of Health Adrian Dix touched on the end of four outbreaks in long-term care across the province Monday, including McKinney Place.
"I can tell you from my own experience and the experience of every family member, every resident in long-term care, that the day an outbreak is declared is a very, very difficult day indeed and the day that it is declared over is a day of some relief," Dix said. "Not that the pandemic is over, but that this period, this moment in the pandemic has changed. I'm thinking of everybody who has lost someone at those care homes, everyone who has been through that experience even if they were not diagnosed positive with COVID-19, everyone who works in those care homes, we are thinking of them today on what is I would say a better day in all of those places, a day when those outbreaks have been declared over."
An outbreak is declared over when two incubation periods, or 28 days, have passed from the last onset of symptoms in a resident.
“I want to thank our staff for their commitment and dedication during this challenging outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health president and CEO. “Everyone stepped up to ensure the people living at McKinney Place received the best possible care, and on behalf of everyone at Interior Health, we send our condolences to the families who lost a loved one during this difficult time.”
All eligible residents and staff at McKinney Place have been offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Additional death at Sunnybank
Interior Health reported Monday an additional death at Sunnybank Retirement Centre, marking the second COVID-19 related death at the facility.
Sunnybank now has 34 cases: 26 residents and eight staff.
Interior Health sees 257 new cases in three days
The province reported on new cases over a three-day period Monday. From Jan. 15 to 16 there were 584 new cases province-wide, from Jan. 16 to 17 there were 445 new cases and in the last 24 hours 301 new cases have been diagnosed. Of the new cases, 257 are in the Interior Health region.
Across B.C. there are 4,326 active cases of COVID-19, 343 in hospital, 68 of whom are in intensive care. There are 6,865 people under active public health monitoring province-wide.
Over the last three days, 31 people died from COVID-19, four of whom in the Interior Health region. A total of 1,078 people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, a majority of which are seniors in long-term care.
Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle