Military members isolating after another cluster of COVID-19 cases found at CFB Esquimalt
HMCS Chicoutimi at CFB Esquimalt after returning home from deployment in 2018. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is dealing with another outbreak of COVID-19 that has left a cluster of military members in self-isolation this week.
A spokesperson for Maritime Forces Pacific tells CTV News that base facilities are being sanitized Monday after a “small cluster of positive COVID-19 cases” was discovered in the first week of April.
Lt.-Cmdr. Tony Wright declined to say how many cases are currently active at the military base, citing operational security and privacy concerns.
Last week, the Department of National Defence confirmed there were 102 active COVID-19 cases across the military, including at CFB Esquimalt.
An earlier outbreak at the Victoria-area base was declared in February when multiple coronavirus cases were identified among civilian workers at a navy fleet maintenance facility.
Since then, the number of coronavirus cases on Vancouver Island and across B.C. has risen dramatically, with the southern Vancouver Island region reporting a record-high 270 active cases on Friday.
“In any instance where a member of the CFB Esquimalt defence team tests positive for COVID-19, the base’s COVID response team works to understand the internal risk and to ensure that health and safety remain paramount in their response,” Wright said in a statement Monday.
“Affected personnel are identified and isolated, contact tracing is conducted in concert with B.C. Public Health, and affected areas are disinfected.”
A total of 1,271 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among Canadian military members since the pandemic began, according to the latest numbers from National Defence.