British Columbia

Elderly patient dies in connection with COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital as case numbers rise

Interior Health says an elderly patient has died in connection with an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C. The health authority said 40 more cases have been linked to the outbreak in a surgical unit first declared on Friday.

20 patients, 28 staff members have now tested positive for the illness, Interior Health says

More than 40 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to an outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C., according to Interior Health. (Simon Charland/CBC)

Interior Health says an elderly patient has died in connection with an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C. 

The health authority said Monday that 40 more cases have been linked to the outbreak in a surgical unit that was first declared on Friday.

A statement said 20 patients and 28 staff members have so far tested positive for the illness and transmission has not yet spread outside the unit. It did not say when the elderly patient died.

Interior Health says infection control measures are being taken and the hospital remains safe to visit for appointments or emergency care.

"Please continue with any scheduled procedures. COVID-19 self-isolation is not required after visiting the hospital," the health authority's statement read.

There are also outbreaks in nine acute care hospitals around the province, including in multiple units of St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver.

On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said case numbers in B.C. have plateaued at an average of 500 cases a day — a number she said was still dangerously high.

She said the shortage of vaccine, combined with the presence of more infectious variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, means the province is at a critical point.

"For the last few weeks, we have plateaued at 500 new cases. This is too many. We are at a precipice," she said.

Henry urged B.C. residents to stay home, not travel and not engage in social interactions to control the virus.

With files from CBC News

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