People walking on the promenade along Okanagan Lake in Downtown Kelowna on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Okanagan COVID-19 numbers skyrocket after Kelowna exposures

Between July 10 and July 23, health officials identified COVID-19 in 107 Okanagan residents

The Okanagan has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus in recent weeks.

And, data released on Thursday by the BC Centre for Disease Control proves it.

Between July 10 and July 23, health officials identified COVID-19 in 107 Okanagan residents — most of those diagnoses coming in the last week.

A graphic showing COVID-19 cases in B.C. by region between July 10 and July 23, 2020. (BC CDC photo)

The skyrocketing local numbers stem from private parties in the city in early July, in which people from the B.C. Interior, the Lower Mainland and Alberta all intermingled. Exposure alerts were put out by Interior Health for several local businesses that those people may have attended.

The Interior Health region went several weeks without a single hospitalization due to the virus. Now, two of the 16 hospitalizations province-wide are in the region.

The numbers also show Interior Health’s spike in numbers is almost entirely contained to the Okanagan, with just five cases identified in the rest of the region.

READ MORE: No mandatory masks, temperature checks for now: City of Kelowna

READ MORE: COVID-19: Rental guests to be limited, B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Across the province, 37 per cent of the cases identified over the past two weeks were people between the ages of 20 and 29.

“I will again stress that we need everyone — and particularly this age group of people in their 20s and 30s — to keep themselves and the people they love safe by maintaining a safe physical distance, washing hands frequently, staying home if they feel sick and wearing a mask in places where physical distancing isn’t always possible,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said on Thursday.

During a press conference on Tuesday, July 21, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said several influencers have started sharing COVID-19 best practices over the past few days, in an effort to quell exposures among younger people.

“I’m so proud, and you’ll see it on Instagram, the work of different people from all walks of life, from people involved in fitness to food to tourism to community activities who are posting on Instagram right now to get that message out,” Dix said.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 outbreak at Oliver farm declared over

There continues to be other community exposure events in the Interior Health region

Morning Start: The Exorcist film set was haunted

Your morning start for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

Former Summerlander receives Emmy nomination for makeup work

Lucky Bromhead recognized for her work with Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek

Mural adds artistic flair to downtown Keremeos

A new, privately commissioned mural has received praise from residents

Morning Start: High heels were first designed for men

Your morning start for Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: Revelstoke rallies to save snared eagle

Local climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

COVID-19 exposure alert at Cactus Club in downtown Kelowna

Interior Health also announced another three cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna, bringing the total to 161

Most Read