Two staff tested positive today (Thursday, Nov. 19) for COVID-19 at the Langley Memorial Hospital long-term care homes – in the Cedar Hill and Redwoods residences. (Langley Advance Times files)

Two staff tested positive today (Thursday, Nov. 19) for COVID-19 at the Langley Memorial Hospital long-term care homes – in the Cedar Hill and Redwoods residences. (Langley Advance Times files)

Further outbreaks reported at care homes in Langley and Clayton Heights

Staff with the long-term care residences have tested positive for COVID

Two long-term care homes at Langley Memorial Hospital and another in Clayton Heights are among the latest to report a COVID-19 outbreak today.

In confirming outbreaks at long-term care and acute settings in the region during the past 24 hours, Fraser Health confirmed they’re on scene at Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH), Langley Memorial Hospital, and The Residence at Clayton Heights Thursday.

On the acute care front, Fraser Health has declared an outbreak at RCH, after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. One staff member at the trauma hospital in New Westminster has tested positive for virus. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions, said Fraser Health communication consultant Krystle Landert.

Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning, as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients, she said, noting that the emergency department at Royal Columbian Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of Royal Columbian Hospital.

RELATED: Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Fraser Health has notified all patients on the affected unit about the outbreak, and in addition, have informed the families of patients who are unable to share this information.

In the meantime, on the long-term care front, two staff members at Langley Memorial’s long-term care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff members work in the Cedar Hill and Rosewood residences that are owned and operated by Fraser Health.

Langley Memorial, and its care homes have been the subject of past outbreaks that have since been declared over. In addition, there are a number of other long-term care facilities in Langley currently dealing with outbreaks, including Fort Langley Seniors Community (formerly Simpson Manor), Harrison Pointe, and Jackman Manor.

RELATED: 538 new infections, 1 death recorded as B.C. struggles with 50+ COVID outbreaks

As for today’s outbreaks, there are also two staff members at The Residence at Clayton Heights who have also tested positive for COVID-19.

The Residence at Clayton Heights is a long term care and acquired brain injury facility in Surrey that is owned and operated by Pinnacle Care Group.

A Fraser Health rapid response team is at the sites and communication with residents and families is underway. The four staff members are currently in self-isolation at their homes.

Enhanced control measures have been put in place at the sites. Fraser Health is working with staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed and is taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families.

These latest outbreak announcements came Thursday, following the update from the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, reporting 538 new cases of COVID-19.

“There are 6,929 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Currently, 217 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 59 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation,” Henry said.

“There are 9,977 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 17,207 people who tested positive have recovered.”

Of the new cases, 309 were reported in the Fraser Health region.

In addition to health-care facility outbreaks in the Fraser Health area, there were two more reported today, at Cottage-Worthington Pavilion and Windermere Care Centre.

“On Nov. 7, we issued regional orders to slow the rapid transmission we are seeing in social interactions, in certain workplaces and in higher-risk indoor settings, like group fitness activities,” Henry said.

Henry imposed some new restrictions, and extended more of them.

“We are now expanding and amending these provincial health officer orders across the province. As was the case for the previous regional orders, the new province-wide orders focus on three areas: social gatherings, workplaces, and group physical activities.”

The coming weeks will be the most difficult in the pandemic, she said.

“But hope is on the horizon. We can protect the ones we love and keep our hospitals, schools, and workplaces open if we remain focused on reducing our in-person interactions for now.”

More details on today’s orders are available online.

At this time, it is critically important for people living in the Fraser Health region to use the COVID-19 assessment tool and get tested as soon as you have COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. Please don’t wait, and book or drop by one of our collection centres which are operated in partnership with local Divisions of Family Practice. People living in the Fraser Health region can find information about test collection centres by visiting Fraser Health’s website.

“By pulling together now we can overcome the challenges before us,” said Henry.

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