RIH COVID-19 outbreak grows to 66 cases

Majority of cases remain among staff

The Royal Inland Hospital outbreak has grown to 66 cases, including 43 staff and 23 patients.

No new deaths have been reported and one death has been reported to date as a result of the outbreak, which was declared on Jan. 22 at surgical ward 6 South.

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Interior Health officials provided an update on Wednesday, telling media the outbreak has caused a strain on hospital staffing levels. As a result, staff have been brought into the hospital from other communities and other health areas, the number of which is not clear.

“Yes, we are managing to cover these shifts now,” Karen Bloemink, Interior Health’s interim vice-president of pandemic response said. “We’re paying close attention to that going forward. We do have plans in place to bring staff in from other areas if the need arises.”

Interior Health officials also reported that some vaccine has come in from Northern Health to address need at Royal Inland Hospital and that all new hospital admissions will be swabbed for a COVID-19 test.

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