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COVID outbreak in Oliver care home claims life of woman in her 70s

A woman in her 70s has died from the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver.

“We are sad to report a COVID-19 related death in Interior Health of a resident in long-term care at McKinney Place in Oliver. This has been our most challenging long-term care outbreak and we offer our condolences to the family and the caregivers, said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health.

“This is our seventh COVID-19 death in the Interior and we must all continue to do our part and follow the public health advice to protect our most vulnerable loved ones.”

There are currently 53 cases connected to the McKinney long-term care outbreak that started with eight cases on Sunday, Dec. 6.

A family member came forward to the Western News stating she is devastated at what is happening at McKinney Place and questions how the cases exploded in such a short time. The Western News agreed to not use her name.

She claimed she had been asked by a doctor to have end of life discussions with her family member living at McKinney Place just in case. But, that conversation can unfortunately only happen over the phone.

“How can I have that kind of conversation about end of life over the phone?”

She also worries about the care her family member is receiving while this outbreak is going on.

She claimed her family member is being left in soiled urine pads at times and being refused a bedpan instead.

“There is just no dignity,” she added. “This isn’t how we should be treating our seniors.”

Chief medical officer Dr. Albert de Villiers provided an update and answered questions about the outbreak on Dec. 11.

Interior Health has arranged additional resources to keep the facility functioning and put out a call for further staff from other parts of the Okanagan.

“If not enough people step forward, we will deploy staff to the site to ensure that staff levels are maintained,” he said.

So far, none of the people who have tested positive have shown symptoms that have required hospitalization, he said on Dec. 11. The Western News has reached out to see if that has changed but there was no reply by deadline.

There is still no indication of COVID-19 transmission to the South Okanagan General Hospital. McKinney Place is attached to the hospital.

READ MORE: 56 more COVID-19 cases, 1 new death in Interior Health

READ MORE: B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases dip to 522 Tuesday

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Monique Tamminga

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Monique Tamminga

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