The first case of COVID-19 among residents of a long-term care facility in the Interior has been detected.
A resident and an employee of Mountainview Village on KLO Road in Kelowna have both tested positive for the disease.
"I want to assure you that we are working closely with Interior Health and have put outbreak protocols in place," reads part of a letter to residents written Sunday by Scott Fielding, a vice-president of the Good Samaritan Society, which operates the complex.
"Enhanced screening of residents and employees will also be conducted, including temperature checks," Fielding says. "Employees will be closely monitoring all residents and themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19."
Until now, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 among residents at any of the long-term care facilities in the region overseen by Interior Health, though employees at such complexes have been infected.
That is in sharp contrast to the situation in the Lower Mainland, where many people in long-term care homes have died after contracting COVID-19.
As with many such facilities, Mountainview Village has different tiers of accommodation: independent living, assisted living, and long-term care. The newly-announced cases of a resident and staff member are connected to the long-term care building.
Interior Heatlh is calling the situation an "outbreak". In a release, IH said: "Staff members in close contact with these individuals are in self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms."
Visits to the second floor of long-term care building have been suspended, but residents of the assisted living and independent living areas have been asked to voluntarily limit their visitors "to reduce the amount of people entering and exiting the building," Fielding says.
The Good Samaritan Society also operates care homes in other parts of B.C. and Alberta.
The society's COVID-19 disclosure webpage indicates there active COVID-19 cases among residents or staff at facilities in Delta, B.C., and the Alberta communities of Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Rocky Mountain House, and Evansburg.
As of Friday, there had been 1,538 cases of COVID-19 in the Interior Health region. A total of 1,136 people had recovered; there were 399 active cases; three people had died.
As of Friday, 10 people were being treated for the disease in Interior Health hospitals, two of whom were in intensive care.
Of the 354 British Columbians who have died this year from COVID-19, those who were 80 and older comprised 69 per cent of the fatalities.