Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)

B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

With overall COVID-19 infection continuing at a low rate all week, B.C. reported one new outbreak at a senior care home Friday, as public health officials prepare to increase protection for senior care home residents.

B.C. reported 180 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 infection in the 24 hours up to June 11. There are 162 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions, down from 176 on Thursday and 195 on Wednesday. One death was recorded, for a total of 1,730 since he pandemic began.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the rapid increase to 75 per cent of adults vaccinated has resulted in the virus reproduction rate being below one and falling in all regions of B.C., and increasing vaccination in patient care areas of senior facilities is a priority.

Northern Health reported a new COVID-19 outbreak at Rotary Manor senior home in Dawson Creek, one of the hotspot communities that has been targeted with all-ages vaccination clinics to bring up its lagging immunization rate. There are currently 10 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C., including Cherington Place and Glenwood Seniors Community in Surrey, each dealing with a second outbreak. Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna is also currently in COVID-19 infection protocol, which comes into effect with one or more confirmed infections among staff and residents.

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“As you know, we have had a few outbreaks in long-term care homes, and there’s been a couple where it spread quite rapidly despite most residents being immunized, and most staff,” Henry said at a briefing June 10. “So yes, we are revising that. We are looking at the policy. We have still in place a single-site order [for staff]. And as part of moving forward into the next phase of this, we will be looking at how do we ensure that everybody in these most highly vulnerable settings are immunized with two doses as much as possible.”

The second stage of B.C.’s reopening plan is expected to be announced on Monday, allowing recreational travel province-wide and and indoor seated gatherings up to 50 people effective Tuesday, June 15.


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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