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Gemstone care home COVID-19 outbreak ends

Interior Health has declared an outbreak at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre ended. The outbreak began on Jan. 13, with 24 residents and eight staffers testing positive for the disease. Two residents died.
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A COVID-19 outbreak began at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Home on Jan. 13, 2021. It was declared over on March 12, 2021.

The city's longest COVID-19 outbreak is now over.

Interior Health has declared an outbreak at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre ended. The outbreak began on Jan. 13, beginning with four residents testing positive.

The long-term care home had its last case reported on Feb. 16, bringing the total cases to 32, with 24 residents and eight staff testing positive for COVID-19.

Two residents died as a result of the outbreak.

An outbreak is declared over when two incubation periods — 28 days — have passed, meaning the last symptomatic person at the care home was identified on Feb. 12.

"We are pleased to declare another COVID-19 outbreak over," said Interior Health chief medical officer Dr. Albert de Villiers. "As COVID-19 vaccination continues to roll out, we will be able to protect more of our most vulnerable members of our communities and prevent ongoing outbreaks in the future."

On Jan. 16, three days after the outbreak began, residents at the care home received the COVID-19 vaccine, along with staff who chose to be vaccinated.

Provincial data gathered from 203 cases by the BC Centre for Disease Control shows a significant drop in cases following vaccination at long-term care home outbreaks 21 days after the vaccine is administered.

The vaccine likely contributed to the drop in cases at Gemstone, with only seven cases reported after the 21-day period when the vaccine came into effect.

The facility at 1955 Tranquille Rd. has 125 publicly funded beds and five private beds and is operated by Trellis Senior Services Ltd.

There are now no COVID-19 outbreaks in Kamloops.