The B.C. government is stepping up screening and protection measures for long-term care homes after two more staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at facilities in Vancouver and Delta.
One staff member each has tested positive at Delta View Care Centre and another at German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver, bringing the total to six B.C. senior care facilities affected by the new coronavirus pandemic.
With testing capacity increased and a backlog of tests mostly cleared, health authorities are beginning to screen long-term care workers as they come into work every day, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
Additional training is also being provided on the use of personal protective equipment.
“The health authorities, particularly in the Lower Mainland that are most affected, will be implementing additional measures at long-term care,” Henry said. “And I know that this will be a challenge for some people in our community because you will not be able to see your loved ones as simply and as easily as we have in the past.”
“I also am appealing to my colleagues in health care that we really need to have a heightened awareness of our symptoms,” Henry said. “We’ve been saying from the very beginning that many people, even young, healthy people, which most of our health care workforce is, can have very mild symptoms. And we can pass it on to each other when we’re in the break room or working together on the ward, and we can pass it on to our patients.”
Two of the three additional deaths reported March 23 were at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver and the Haro Park Centre Society in Vancouver. The third was a person living in the community in the Fraser Health region, bringing B.C.’s total deaths to 13.
At Lynn Valley, the B.C. first facility to discover an outbreak, and Hollyburn House care centre in West Vancouver, tests have shown 39 residents and 19 workers have contracted COVID-19. Haro Park Centre in Vancouver has 10 residents and 12 workers who have tested positive.