A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care home in Victoria.

Island Health says a staff member at Hart House, in Fairfield, has tested positive for the virus. Hart House is owned and operated by Trillium Communities.

The health authority says it’s working to determine who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and is screening residents and staff twice a day for the virus. The infected staff member is isolating at hoome, and all residents have been isolated to their suites.

Dr. Roger Wong, a clinical professor of geriatric medicine at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine, says seniors are at an increased risk of getting infected when community transmission remains high even if care homes take all precautions.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s website shows active COVID-19 infections in 14 long-term care homes as of Thursday.

Among them are Chartwell Malaspina long-term care home in Nanaimo and Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan.

More than 80 per cent of the COVID-related deaths in the province have been among people over the age of 70.

Wong says every senior lost due to COVID-19 is one too many.

“It is heartbreaking to see those who have contributed so much to our society going down as a result of the pandemic,” he said.

“Each person represents a precious and full life story to the family and to our society.”

Fraser Health also declared COVID-19 outbreaks at two long-term care homes on Saturday, both in Surrey.

The health authority says a resident and staff member at Suncreek Village and two workers at Guildford Seniors Village have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, an employee at the Real Canadian Superstore in Duncan has tested positive on a presumptive test for COVID-19, according to its parent company.

The last day the team member worked was Jan. 2, according to Loblaws Companies Ltd.’s website.

“For transparency, we regularly update the [website] with all positive COVID-19 cases in our stores, by province, in the last 15 days,” the company said. “For privacy, we will not release any personal information about our colleagues and employees.”

The company said it will work closely with public health officials to ensure those who came into close contact with the employee are notified. The required cleaning and sanitization has been undertaken.

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