More than 10,000 people in greater Kelowna have now tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. The rate of five per cent is second highest in the province. Six recent deaths are associated to an ongoing outbreak at Cottonwoods care home on Ethel Street.

Four more people have died because of COVID-19 outbreaks in the Kelowna area, Interior Health said Tuesday.

A total of 19 deaths are now associated with the ongoing outbreaks at six care homes in the Central Okanagan. That's up from 15 on Sept. 1.

The hardest hit care home remains David Lloyd Jones home on Bernard Avenue near downtown Kelowna. Forty-one residents and 14 staff have tested positive for the disease, and the outbreak has claimed seven lives.

Six people have died at Cottonwoods as a result of the latest COVID-19 outbreak at the care home on Ethel Street.

Throughout the Central Okanagan, 93 care home residents and 41 staff have tested positive for the disease. A recent COVID-19 outbreak at Hawthorn Park has been declared over.

Health care workers in long-term care and assisted living facilities must be vaccinated by Oct. 12. Vaccines were first made available to such workers in December 2020. Proof of vaccination will be a condition of continued employment.

"We have seen transmission from unvaccinated staff and it reinforces the need for protection from all people in long-term care," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in early August, when it was announced that long-term care workers would have two additional months to get vaccinated or potentially lose their job.

Also Tuesday, the province announced 2,425 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed across B.C. in a four-day period that included the Labour Day long weekend.

Of the new cases, 838 were in the Interior Health region.

From Friday through Monday, 15 more deaths due to the disease were recorded in B.C., making the toll 1,842 since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. Six of the most recent deaths were in the IH region.

The daily infection average of 606 cases over the long weekend was somewhat below the most recent seven-day rolling average.

The first shot vaccination rate for people 12 and up has reached 85.1%, up from 84.6% last Thursday. And the full vaccination rate is now at 77.6%, u p from 76.9% last Thursday.