COVID-19 has now made its way to Kelowna General Hospital.

“We did confirm yesterday that we have six staff members at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) that have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, Interior Health’s interim chief medical health officer.

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This new outbreak at the hospital raises concerns for the City of Kelowna.

“It’s really disappointing because now we have front-line staff that are supposed to be helping us get through this are now off the job,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

Interior Health is saying the KGH outbreak is linked to the recent Kelowna exposures at private gatherings.

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“Through our investigation, we have determined the individuals did acquire COVID-19 out in the community rather than the hospital setting,” said Dr. Pollock.

“Those cases are linked to recent events in Kelowna, where we’ve seen exposures at gatherings and places of business.”

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Now, health officials are offering even more advice to people planning on having or going to private gatherings, beyond keeping them small.

“We are asking people who are having gatherings, that they collect the contact information and names of people at the gathering,” said Dr. Pollock.

Basran says with the new cases of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to follow the directions made by the province.

“Everybody, from front-line workers to Kelowna residents and people visiting here, we all need to do better. Kelowna is not a COVID-19 free bubble,” said Basran.

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He is asking everyone, especially visitors, to me mindful that COVID-19 transmission doesn’t stop just because you’re on vacation.

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“Particularly those who are visiting from outside the community, I would ask that you act as if this was your home,” Basran told Global News on Saturday.

The health authority is letting the public know that this outbreak will not affect services provided at KGH.

“There is no evidence right now of any risk to patients or any exposure to patients,” said Dr. Pollock.

“We are encouraging people if they need to seek medical attention at the hospital, they do come to Kelowna General Hospital. It is a safe place.”

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