60% of Interior COVID-19 deaths were residents of long-term care homes

60% of deaths in LTC homes

More than half of the 38 people who've died from COVID-19 in B.C.'s Interior have been residents of long-term care homes.

The BCCDC began releasing weekly reports of COVID-19 care home data this week, breaking down the number of deaths and cases among the province's care home outbreaks.

There are currently nine active care home outbreaks in the Interior Health region – one in Kelowna, one in West Kelowna, three in Vernon, one in Penticton, two in Oliver and one in Williams Lake.

To date, 180 care home residents and 60 staff have contracted the virus at these care homes, and 23 residents have died from the disease.

Those deaths make up about 60 per cent of the 38 deaths that have occurred in the Interior Health region. Seven other smaller outbreaks at local care homes have been declared over, and no deaths came from those outbreaks.

The worst outbreak so far has been at Oliver's McKinney Place care home, where 54 of its 59 residents and 23 staff have contracted the virus. Fourteen residents have died.

That outbreak was first declared by Interior Health on Dec. 6, after eight residents tested positive for the virus. The case numbers at the care home rose rapidly, and beginning Dec. 15, so did the deaths. Interior Health said last month they didn't know how the virus got into the care home, but the fewer private rooms in the facility may have contributed to the rapid spread. 

The first long-term care home residents in the Interior began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations on Friday at McKinney Place and at Sunnybank care home, which is also in Oliver. 

Provincewide, about 61 per cent of B.C.'s 988 COVID-related deaths have been among residents of long-term care homes. The province's worst care home outbreak is at Vancouver's Little Mountain Place, where 41 of the 114 residents have died from the virus. 

These numbers show why long-term care home residents and staff have been some of the first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Friday, 46,259 British Columbians had received their first dose of one of the two vaccines that have been approved for use in Canada.

B.C. has not disclosed how many of those vaccinations have been in long-term care homes.

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