VANCOUVER -- After seeing the number of COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities in the region drop to zero earlier this month, Fraser Health has declared two new outbreaks in seniors' homes this week.

On Tuesday, the health authority announced an outbreak at Cherington Place in Surrey, and on Thursday it announced one at Chartwell Carlton Care Residence in Burnaby.

At each long-term care facility, one resident and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating in their homes.

Fraser Health has implemented enhanced control measures at each site and contact tracers are working to identify anyone who may have been exposed at either facility.

Among the enhanced control measures are restrictions on visitors and the movement of staff and residents within each care home.

The current outbreak appears to be the first to be declared at Chartwell Carlton since the pandemic began, while Cherington Place previously dealt with a coronavirus outbreak in September.

A total of 12 people tested positive in connection to that outbreak, which began on Sept. 3. Seven were residents and the rest were staff members. By the time the outbreak had ended on Oct. 13, three residents had died, according to data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control

When the provincial government announced COVID-19 vaccination rates in long-term care homes in mid-February, 128 of 132 residents at Chartwell Carlton had received at least a first dose. At Cherington Place, 68 of 70 residents had received at least a first dose.

Both of those ratios work out to a 97 per cent first-dose vaccination rate.

Health officials have attributed the decline in the number and severity of outbreaks at care homes to the high rates of vaccination achieved in them early in the province's vaccine rollout. Outbreaks in care homes have continued to occur, however, and some have proven deadly.

Data released by B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry last week shows that 98 per cent of cases in the province since December have been among the unvaccinated or those who received a first dose less than 21 days before the onset of their symptoms. 

Still, 1,450 people who had been vaccinated and had time to develop some immunity ended up testing positive for COVID-19, according to Henry. Only 120 of those had received both shots.