Two COVID-19 deaths reported in Island Health, including one at care home

One resident has died and two more tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday at Sunset Lodge in Vic West.

A total of 13 staff and 13 residents at the facility have now tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak declared Friday.

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The Sunset Lodge resident was one of two COVID-19 deaths reported in Island Health on Tuesday.

Island Health president and CEO Kathy MacNeil said the health authority extends its condolences to the resident’s family and friends. She also thanked the Sunset Lodge and Island Health staff involved in dealing with the outbreak for their “compassionate care.” Island Health said out of privacy concerns, it will not be sharing any further details of the death.

B.C. recorded 655 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, including 68 in Island Health.

The province now has 6,045 active cases of COVID-19, including 620 in Island Health. There are 187 COVID-19 cases in hospital around B.C. Of those, 103 are in intensive care.

The rate of vaccination has increased slightly since the province announced that a vaccine card will soon be required to enter many non-essential venues — 76.5 per cent of eligible people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, below the 85 to 95 per cent immunization rate public health officials and epidemiologists say is needed.

The highest number of new and active cases continues to be in Interior Health — 242 new cases for a total of 2,495 active cases.

A total of 1,816 COVID-19 related deaths have occurred to date in B.C.

On Tuesday, the province announced a new health-care facility outbreak in Interior Health, for a total of 19 outbreaks in health-care settings including hospitals, long-term care and assisted and independent living.

Over the last two weeks, those who are not fully vaccinated accounted for 80.2 per cent of new COVID cases and 88.7 per cent of hospitalizations.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday health officials are concerned about the Sunset Lodge outbreak and will review it.

Admissions, transfers and social visits at the facility, which is owned by the Salvation Army, are on hold because of the outbreak, and all employees must wear masks. Those deemed to be essential visitors are allowed to continue to visit residents.

On Aug. 12, the province announced that all health-care workers in private and public long-term care and assisted living homes must be double-­vaccinated by Oct. 12 as a ­condition of employment.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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