Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a respiratory illness outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Interior Health declared the outbreak Sept. 25, 2020. (File photo)

Outbreak at North Okanagan care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

A Vernon resident was hoping to see her mother at the Noric House on Mission Road, but was surprised to learn it was cancelled due to an outbreak.

Interior Health declared an respiratory infection outbreak in effect for the entire long-term care facility on Sept. 25, 2020.

“The outbreak is not connected to COVID,” Interior Health communications spokesperson Susan Duncan said Oct. 1. “But, COVID-19 testing is included in all testing done for respiratory illness in long-term care facilities.”

Specific measures are in implemented amid a “scenario C” outbreak, outlined by the regional health agency. Residents that have fallen ill are isolated as much as possible in their units and meals are delivered via tray service.

Sick staff are also expected to stay home until they’re well again.

Scenario C is defined by Interior Health as a milder respiratory illness, “known or suspected to be due to other non-influenza viral pathogen, most commonly rhinovirus or coronavirus.”

Similar hand-hygiene practices and droplet-contact precautions used to combat the spread of COVID-19 are implemented in this type of outbreak.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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