COVID-19 outbreak declared at Victoria seniors home; 63 new cases in Island Health

Island Health declared a COVID‑19 outbreak among three staff at the Sunset Lodge seniors home in Victoria on Friday as the province recorded its highest case count in four months.

The outbreak brings the total number of outbreaks in long-term care, assisted and independent living in the province to 15.

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“At this time, no residents are experiencing symptoms and the risk remains low,” said Island Health. The three staff members who tested positive are isolating at home. The region reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the number of active cases to 555.

Island Health, citing privacy concerns, would not say whether the staff members were vaccinated because that is “an individual’s personal and private health information.”

Sunset Lodge, at 952 Arm St., is owned and operated by the Salvation Army.

Communication with residents, families and staff is underway, the health authority said. It has brought in extra staff and is working with the lodge to identify anyone else who may have been exposed.

The health authority said twice-a-day screening of all staff and residents at Sunset Lodge is being conducted. COVID-19 testing will be done for staff and symptomatic residents. The health authority did not say whether rapid testing of staff was being conducted prior to the outbreak.

All working staff will be required to wear masks.

Admissions, transfers and social visits will be on hold while the outbreak is in effect and resident and staff movement will be limited, said Island Health. Essential visitors can continue to see residents.

The province reported 867 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as cases continue to spike.

Three more people have died for a total of 1,807. All the deaths were in Interior Health, which recorded the highest number of new cases, 350.

There are 5,657 active cases including 159 in hospital, of whom 84 are in intensive care.

The province said people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 82 per cent of the infections and nearly 86 per cent of hospitalizations from Aug. 12 to 25.

Close to 76 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age 12 and older are fully vaccinated with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 84 per cent have had at least one shot.

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