There are now 57 cases at McKinney Place in Oliver.
Interior Health chief medical officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said the reason the disease spread so rapidly in the long-term care facility is because there are four residents to each room. This is because it is an aging building and there isn’t enough space to give them individual rooms like in newer facilities.
“We are co-horting those that are sick together,” said Dr. de Villiers in a media briefing held on Tuesday. There is currently one resident in hospital and other residents sick with COVID-19. There is no plan to move any residents’ to hospital or any other facility, Dr. de Villiers said. Those in hospital are at Penticton Regional Hospital.
In total, 41 residents and 16 staff have tested positive since the outbreak began back on Dec. 6.
As of Friday, the count had held at 57 cases.
Tragically, one person, Evelyn Patridge — a lifelong Okanagan woman — died from COVID-19 on Dec. 13. Evelyn moved to McKinney Place after losing the use of her legs and requiring additional care, according to her obituary posted by Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Services.
“She loved the community there and adored activities such as crafting and decorating for Christmas. More so, she loved Terry, (her husband of 60 years) whom she called daily, including her final day,” the obituary reads.
Evelyn leaves behind her husband and love of her life Terry, three children, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Evelyn was a longtime Canada Post worker. Alongside her husband, Evelyn was part of the Central Okanagan Citizens on Patrol for 19 years. She also volunteered for 20 years with the Ladies Auxiliary Army & Navy Club in Kelowna.
According to Dr. de Villiers, there are several staff and residents who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms. Staff who have tested positive are self isolating until they test negative and can return to work.
He said staffing levels are doing fine at the Oliver facility and they’ve brought in staff from around the Okanagan to help.