Okanagan Correctional Centre COVID-19 outbreak declared over

The Okanagan Correctional Centre is preparing for possible evacuation due to a nearby wildfire.

Interior Health (IH) has declared the outbreak related to the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) over.

In total, seven staff tested positive for COVID-19 with no one in custody contracting the virus. The individuals were supported by Interior Health as they isolated at home and through active contact tracing, approximately 80 close contacts were ordered into self-isolation.

“I commend the Okanagan Correctional Centre’s staff and administrators for having infection control precautions in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission among people in custody and the community,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health president and CEO. “Thanks to efficient contact tracing and proactive engagement with Interior Health’s medical health officers, this outbreak is an example of how these challenging circumstances can be managed when partners work well together.”

Initial indications suggested transmission occurred during a training exercise, however, the exact source remains inconclusive. Interior Health reminds everyone that COVID-19 is circulating throughout our communities and we should all follow public health precautions to protect one another by preventing the spread.

IH reminds everyone of the importance of following COVID-19 precautions:

  • Stay home and avoid travel if you have symptoms, even mild ones.
  • Maintain physical distancing (two metres apart) and use masks when distancing is not possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face.
  • Do not plan or attend gatherings of more than 50 people. Limit gatherings to out of doors whenever possible.

Testing is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

Other milder symptoms may include: runny nose, fatigue, body aches (muscles and joints aching), diarrhea, headache, sore throat, vomiting and red eyes.

Information about testing and public exposures to COVID-19 throughout the Interior Health region are available on the IH website.

Answers to frequently asked questions are available on the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website.