COVID-19 outbreaks declared at 2 hospitals in B.C. Interior

Health officials in B.C.'s Interior are responding to two COVID-19 outbreaks that were detected in local hospitals this week.

Interior Health declared outbreaks at Kelowna General and Vernon Jubilee hospital on March 31, and announced in an update the following day that the Vernon outbreak had grown.

A total of five people - three patients and two staff members - had tested positive at Vernon Jubilee's Level 3 surgical unit as of April 1. The health authority is asking anyone discharged from the unit between March 15 and 29 to self-isolate for 14 days after their discharge date.

Anyone who was a roommate of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or was at high risk of exposure is being contacted directly by Interior Health staff.

The outbreak at Kelowna General is the hospital's third since February and one of two that are currently active at the facility.

The hospital's latest outbreak is in unit 4E, where one patient and one staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus as of March 31. Health officials say the new outbreak does not appear to be linked to the other ongoing outbreak, which is in unit 5B.

There is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission to other units at either Kelowna General or Vernon Jubilee, according to Interior Health.

The health authority says both hospitals remain safe to attend for appointments and emergency care.