(photo via Chartwell Retirement Residences)

Two COVID-related deaths in the Island Health region have been linked to an outbreak at a care home in Nanaimo.

Island Health confirmed in a statement to Victoria Buzz that one of the COVID-related deaths announced Monday, January 18 is related to the outbreak at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence.

This is the second death related to the outbreak.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of each of these individuals as they grieve the loss of a cherished loved one,” Island Health President and CEO Kathy MacNeil.

“To the staff at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence and Island Health staff involved, please know that the entire Island Health family is behind you and is thankful for the compassionate care you are providing during this difficult time.”

On January 6th, one additional Chartwell Malaspina staff member and one additional resident tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases at the residence to seven residents and one staff member.

No further cases have been confirmed since then.

Since the outbreak was declared, Island Health says more than 360 COVID-19 tests have been performed on residents and staff at Malaspina. All tests have come back negative.

Island Health’s target is that all residents of long-term care across the region will be vaccinated in the coming days.

The outbreak has been confined to two units on the first floor of the home, with staff members and residents tied to the unit where the outbreak was initially identified.

The origin of the outbreak is still under investigation, while enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented and visitations have been stopped.

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