Interior Health has reported 389 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, 159 of which are linked to Kelowna. (File)

Weekly roundup: Kelowna COVID-19 cases grow to 159, drowning incidents increase in Okanagan, COVID-19 testing expanded in Kelowna

A look at the top stories of the week

Here’s a look at the stories of the week.

Drowning incidents increase in Okanagan as summer picks up

Recent sunny and hot weather has more and more people coming to the lake to cool off.

The B.C. Day long weekend hit highs of mid-30 C, tapering off late on Aug. 3, but not before some water-related incidents.

An Alberta man was cliff jumping near Rattlesnake Island. The 33-year-old didn’t surface after jumping into the water, which started off a five-day search for him that involved an RCMP underwater recovery team, Peachland Fire and Rescue, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR). His body was recovered on Aug. 5.

In Vernon, the body of a 21-year-old man was recovered from Okanagan Lake on Aug. 2. Police said personal items that belonged to the man were also found along the shore. Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said there is no criminality involved in the death.

No appointment needed: COVID-19 testing access expanded in Kelowna

Interior Health (IH) has opened a new COVID-19 testing and assessment facility in downtown Kelowna.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the health authority opened the temporary centre at its Community Health and Services Centre at 505 Doyle Avenue to provide more access for testing those who may have been exposed to positive cases in the community.

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

B.C.’s gang task force spent the B.C. Day long weekend in Kelowna, where they assisted local RCMP’s enforcement efforts against the city’s street-level drug trade.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team, alongside the Kelowna RCMP, conducted vessel checks on Okanagan Lake and monitored several bars — resulting in three individuals being asked to leave various establishments.

Over the four days the gang unit was in Kelowna, 125 vehicles were stopped and 75 people were checked, with the majority of those people connected to the street-level drug trade, according to the CFSEU.

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Of the 389 cases of COVID-19 Interior Health has reported since the pandemic began, nearly 41 per cent have come from Kelowna.

The health authority reported four new region-wide cases on Friday, Aug. 7, and confirmed 159 cases of the virus have been linked to Kelowna through contact tracing since June 26 — an increase of 10 since it last reported Kelowna-specific numbers on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Interior Health began reporting Kelowna-specific numbers after several community exposure events in late June and early July evolved to greater community transmission. The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Kelowna prior to June 26 is still unknown.

COSAR attends one search and two rescues over long weekend

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) crews had their hands full over the long weekend, attending to numerous rescue efforts.

The team spent three days looking for a 33-year-old Alberta man who did not resurface after cliff jumping.

On Aug. 1 at around 2:40 p.m., West Kelowna RCMP responded to a call of a man who had not resurfaced after cliff jumping near Rattlesnake Island on Okanagan Lake.

Six Kelowna Sun Devils off to college on baseball scholarships

While the sounds of bats cracking and fans cheering has mostly been absent from ball diamonds this summer, one Kelowna baseball team is still making some noise.

The Kelowna Sun Devils U18 Prep Team has six players from their current roster making the jump to college baseball in the fall, the most of any team in the program’s history.

Kelowna’s top minor team has been on a run of success over the last few seasons. After back-to-back league championships in 2019, the program graduated from Midget AAA to the U18 College Prep level – the highest level of minor Baseball that B.C. has to offer.

Driver rescued after car goes down embankment near Kelowna

The Kelowna Fire Department performed a high-angle rope rescue after a vehicle went down an embankment near Kelowna on Wednesday evening.

At around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 5, the fire department received a call to assist RCMP and emergency health services with the rescue of an injured motorist that had been found down an embankment.

The Technical High Angle Rope Team was sent to the Gillard Creek Forest Service Road just south of Kelowna where they found a vehicle down an approximately 20-foot embankment.

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

After an extensive five-day search, West Kelowna RCMP recovered the body of an Alberta man from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

The 33-year-old didn’t surface while cliff jumping near Rattlesnake Island on Okanagan Lake on the afternoon of Aug. 1, sparking search efforts by local police, an RCMP underwater recovery team, Peachland Fire and Rescue and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR).

“The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging,” says Sgt Joel Glen of the West Kelowna RCMP. “Our heartfelt condolences go out the family and loved ones of the deceased.”


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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