Visitors are asked to refrain from visiting the Health Centre during the outbreak. File photo.

Visitors are asked to refrain from visiting the Health Centre during the outbreak. File photo.

UPDATED: Respiratory outbreak, not COVID-19, hits New Denver health facility

Visitors asked to stay away from Slocan Community Health Centre

UPDATED: An Interior Health official says only a small number of patients are affected.

“The outbreak at Slocan Community Health Centre is related to a seasonal illness not uncommon for this time of year,” says Karl Hardt, a spokesperson for Interior Health.

“As with any outbreak, we take infection control practices which would include additional cleaning protocols, isolation of those individuals who are ill and restrictions on new admissions and visitors.

“It is a small number of individuals impacted, but particularly at this time we need to take all precautions to protect vulnerable individuals in care.”

ORIGINAL: Interior Health says a respiratory infection has struck New Denver’s Slocan Community Health Centre.

While it’s not COVID-19, officials are asking people to reduce their interaction with the health-care facility to protect patients and health-care staff.

“Please consider postponing your visit until the outbreak is over. This will help keep you and your loved one healthy,” says a standard warning from IH.​

The outbreak is listed as Respiratory Infection (RI) – Scenario B. Interior Health describes Scenario B as “More severe respiratory illness known or suspected to be due to a non-influenza viral or bacterial cause.”

That would exclude coronavirus.

“Current outbreaks at IH long-term care homes are caused by a number of different seasonal respiratory viruses including influenza, RSV and metapneumovirus,” said a spokesperson from Interior Health about an earlier outbreak in a Castlegar extended-care home.

“This is typical for influenza season. None of our outbreaks are connected to COVID, but COVID-19 testing is included in all testing done for RI illness in long-term care facilities.

“Interior Health, along with all other B.C. regional health authorities, are restricting visitors in long-term care to essential visits only to protect these vulnerable individuals.”