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Coronavirus cases confirmed at 3 new B.C. seniors’ homes

For the first time, the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in a Vancouver Island seniors' home. .
For the first time, the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in a Vancouver Island seniors' home. . Berwick By the Sea

Cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed at three new B.C. seniors’ homes, including the first such facility on Vancouver Island.

There are now 12 seniors’ facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Berwick Retirement Communities confirmed the case is a resident at its Berwick By the Sea residence in Campbell River.

“This individual has been self-isolating in their room since returning back to Berwick by the Sea on the 24th of March,” said Berwick spokesperson Lesley Sikorski by email.

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“Island Health has also confirmed that close contacts of the individual who tested positive have been notified and all necessary steps are being taken. If you have not been contacted by public health, you are not considered at risk of exposure to this individual.”

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The company said it had informed all residents, staff and family on Wednesday, and was in regular contact with health officials.

In Metro Vancouver, Fraser Health confirmed Friday that a staff member of The Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey and a community health worker at Chartwell Independent Living at Langley Gardens have also tested positive for the virus.

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Both are in self isolation at home, said Fraser Health.

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“Enhanced control measures have been put in place at Elim Village – The Harrison and Chartwell Independent Living at Langley Gardens,” said the health authority.

“Fraser Health is working with the staff at both site and home care clients to identify anyone who may have been exposed and taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families.”

The health authority said it was maintaining staffing levels and was increasing cleaning at both facilities.

The province has banned non-essential visits to seniors’ care homes and banned health-care workers from working at multiple seniors facilities in a continued effort to slow transmission.

READ MORE: B.C. ‘cautiously optimistic’ about COVID-19 forecast, but warns hospitals could still be overwhelmed

Outbreaks of COVID-19 at most B.C. seniors’ homes have been limited to one or two people.

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But at North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre, 46 residents and 24 staff have tested positive, and at Vancouver’s Haro Park Centre, 30 residents and 28 staff have contracted the virus.