East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Google maps photo

UPDATED: COVID-19 outbreak declared at East Kootenay Regional Hospital

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook that was first declared on Oct. 14.

There are 17 COVID-19 test-positive patients on the third floor of the facility as of Thursday, Oct. 20, according to an update from Interior Health.

There are no disruptions to services, and no visitor restrictions to much of the hospital facilities except to follow COVID and personal protection equipment guidelines.

However, visitors access to the third floor is restricted to ‘essential visitors’ only, which is determined by the patient’s care team in hospital, according to Interior Health.

Family members of a patient on the third floor have not been able to visit since Oct. 9, according to a relative who spoke with the Cranbrook Townsman on Thursday.

Interior Health did not confirm whether patients are testing positive after being admitted to hospital or if patients were already test-positive before hospitalization.

It is not unexpected to see periods of higher number of cases in facilities, given that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible and urged people to get COVID-19 immunizations, according to Interior Health.

According to the latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control, there 684 COVID-19 cases were reported in the province between Sept. 25-Oct. 1, with 168 within Interior Health.

In that same time period, there have been 24 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Interior Health.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify some incorrect information initially provided by Interior Health regarding visitor access to patients on the third floor of East Kootenay Regional Hospital.