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Fourth concurrent COVID-19 outbreak declared at Royal Inland Hospital

Unit 5 North is the latest ward to be affected at the Kamloops hospital
Royal Inland Hospital
Royal Inland Hospital is in downtown Kamloops, at Columbia Street and Third Avenue.

A fourth COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, with the health facility now dealing with a concurrent quartet of active outbreaks.

On Nov. 13, Interior Health declared a fourth outbreak on unit 5 North, a 32-bed stroke and rehab ward, with two patients testing positive.

Total active COVID-19 outbreaks at RIH include: 

• Unit 5 South (medical ward, declared on Nov. 2): 19 positive patient cases, seven positive staff/other cases, two deaths;

• Unit 7 North (renal and cardiac ward, declared on Nov. 8): Four positive patient cases;

• Unit 6 South (surgical ward, declared on Nov. 10): Eight positive patient cases;

• Unit 5 North (stroke and rehab ward, declared on Nov. 13)): Two positive patient cases.

KTW has asked for the vaccination status of all patients and staff infected during the three outbreaks — without linking them to any specific unit — and Interior Health is considering that request.

There have now been seven COVID-19 outbreaks at RIH this year and the first time four units have had outbreaks at the same time.

Previous outbreaks occurred in units 6 South and 6 North. Five people have died in outbreaks at RIH this year.

The health authority had maintained throughout outbreaks at RIH that it is safe for people to visit for emergency care.

However that changed on Nov. 10 when Interior Health said only essential visitors are permitted at Royal Inland Hospital. Essential visitors include:

• Visits for compassionate care: including critical illness, palliative care, hospice care, end-of-life and medical assistance in dying;

• Visits to patients in the emergency department or intensive care unit;

• Visits for pediatric care, labour and delivery;

• Visits necessary to support a patient’s physical care (such as help with feeding or mobility), mental well-being or decision-making.

Interior Health said all services continue to be available at RIH, adding that the hospital remains safe to visit for anyone needing emergency care.