Norovirus outbreak at Victoria’s Selkirk Lodge comes to an end

Vancouver Island Health Authority says nine people who died during outbreak were receiving "end-of-life" care

An outbreak of norovirus at the Selkirk Lodge seniors care facility off Gorge Road has been declared over.

Vancouver Island Health Authority medical health officer Dr. Dee Hoyano said in a statement Wednesday that the assisted living facility has returned to normal operations, after nearly a month of following outbreak control measures.

“Although we could not determine exactly how norovirus was introduced into the facility, we did receive information that a food handler was among some of the staff who were ill at the beginning of the outbreak,” Hoyano said. “This is an important reminder of how easily norovirus can be spread by ill workers and food handlers.”

The outbreak hit July 11 and affected more than 100 people and 50 staff. During a roughly three-week time period following the spread of the virus, nine elderly patients died, a higher than usual number for this time of the year. The deaths were not directly attributed to norovirus, a flu-like illness, but Hoyano confirmed all of the patients were receiving “end-of-life care.”

In an attempt to control the spread of the virus, Selkirk staff brought meals to sick patients isolated in their rooms, limited visitors and did additional cleaning.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com