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Island Health: COVID outbreaks in long-term care

Three outbreaks in long-term care on Vancouver Island: Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo

Tuesday January 12, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc, editor | Island Social Trends

There are three active outbreaks in long-term care facilities on Vancouver Island as of this evening on January 12, 2021.

The most recent one is at Hart House in the Fairfield neighbourhood of Victoria where the services offered are long-term care, assisted living and independent living. One staff person tested positive on January 9. All 17 residents have been isolated in their suites.

The other two outbreaks are shown as in Duncan and Nanaimo, as listed on the Island Health COVID-19 Outbreaks page:

Location Type Date
Hart House long-term care home
1961 Fairfield Rd,
Victoria, B.C.
OutbreakJanuary 9, 2021
Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum Assisted Living
5755 Allenby Rd
Duncan, B.C.
OutbreakJanuary 7, 2021
Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence
100 Eleventh Street
Nanaimo, B.C.
OutbreakDec 27 and 28, 2020

Most of the deaths (about 80 per cent) due to COVID-19 in BC and across Canada have occurred in long-term care and assisted living facilities. On Vancouver Island there have been 13 deaths by COVID, most of those in long-term care.

As reported by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry on January 11, there are 1,364 residents in long-term care, assisted living and acute care facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as 669 staff in those facilities. Those infections are presently in 50 long-term care and assisted living facilities as well as 10 acute care facilities.

Vaccination priority:

Residents and workers in long-term care — as well as essential visitors (who helping with social as well as direct-care support) are at the top of the vaccination priority list across BC.

Presently the available vaccines are by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The frontrunner in terms of availability has been the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine product; as it requires a centralized administration system, that product has been used mostly in long-term care and acute care settings.

Health Minister, Adrian Dix, January 11, 2021
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix: “We have allocated all the Modern vaccines that we have,” he said January 11, 2021.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said yesterday that all of the Moderna vaccine doses have been allocated; most of those are going to rural and remote areas, including Indigenous.

As posted on the Island Health website, between December and February, the following people will be able to be immunized:

  • residents, staff and essential visitors to long-term care and assisted-living residences
  • individuals in hospital or community awaiting a long term care placement
  • health care workers providing care for COVID-19 patients in settings like Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, medical/surgical units and paramedics
  • remote and isolated First Nations communities

From February to March, the immunization program will expand to include:

  • community-based seniors, age 80 and above, Indigenous elders and Indigenous seniors, age 65 and above
  • people experiencing homelessness and/or using shelters
  • provincial correctional facilities
  • adults in group homes or mental health residential care
  • long term home support recipients and staff
  • hospital staff, community GPs and medical specialists

COVID profile in BC and on Vancouver Island:

By comparison, there were 7,313 people across BC yesterday who were isolating under public health surveillance due to exposure to COVID-19. Today that count is down a bit to 7,238.

BC CDC, COVID, January 12, 2021
COVID-19 dashboard for Vancouver Island on January 12, 2021. [BC CDC]

There were 5,220 active cases of COVID-19 in BC yesterday, with 175 of those in Island Health. Today January 12 that tally is down a bit across the province (5,045 active cases in BC) while the tally on Vancouver Island is up a bit (182 active cases).

Island Health, regions, cases, January 12 2021
Number of COVID-19 cases in Island Health as at January 12, 2021 [Island Health]

Most of the active cases on Vancouver Island are in the central region — 120 presently active and 528 in total during the pandemic to date. Presently there are 35 active cases in the south (total 379) and 30 in the north (total 247).

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