Berwick Retirement Communities locations across B.C. are taking extra precautions to protect residents and staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Supplied by Berwick Retirement Communities)

Greater Victoria retirement homes limit non-essential visits, take safety precautions

‘Safety of residents and staff is paramount,’ says Berwick Retirement Communities spokesperson

Retirement homes across B.C. are taking extra precautions to protect seniors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After news of the coronavirus cases at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, care homes across the province, such as the Berwick Retirement Communities and Atria Retirement Canada, began taking proactive precautions at “hyper-speed,” explained Victoria-based Berwick spokesperson Lesley Sikorski.

COVID-19 was on staff’s radar for weeks, she noted, because in order to protect the vulnerable senior population, extra supplies needed to be ordered, hand sanitizer stations needed to be set up and extra cleaning crews needed to be hired.

READ ALSO: Baby boy among the latest COVID-19 cases, as Canadian cases rise to almost 150

“Safety of residents and staff is paramount,” she said. “We’re going over and above what needs to be done.”

To protect residents and staff from infection, the care home chain has asked that only essential visits be made and a “pre-screening process” has been implemented for everyone who enters the facilities – including staff, delivery workers and cleaning personnel, Sikorski explained. The screening includes a series of questions to “to reduce the risk of potential exposure to infection from the community.”

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Trudeau goes into self-isolation over COVID-19

Answering yes to any of the questions results in the visitor being asked to stay away for two weeks, Sikorski explained.

A warning on the care home chain’s website asks that essential visits take place in resident suites rather than in public areas and that guests ensure they’re healthy before coming. Hand sanitizer is also provided throughout the facilities.

All Berwick locations held meetings with residents on March 11 to explain protocols and keep residents up to date on what precautions are being taken so they can take an active role, Sikorski explained. They were shown a video on proper hand-washing techniques, given a refresher on “cough etiquette” and walked through an outbreak scenario.

READ ALSO: Tom Hanks and his wife test positive for coronavirus

According to a letter sent to residents and their families and friends, all community events, large-group outings, private dining events, guest meals and guest suite stays have also been cancelled.

Sikorski said Berwick residents are concerned but they are pleased with the open communication. She added they’ve taken the situation very seriously and gotten on board with safety protocols.

“They’ve been supporting each other,” Sikorski said.

She pointed out that the situation is changing on a daily basis but that Berwick is taking steps to limit risk, connecting with other care homes to see what they’re doing and keeping residents and their families up to date.

Currently, Sikorski feels “confident in the steps taken” to manage risks for residents.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP search for man wanted on 15 outstanding warrants

Steven Sandhu is believed to be living in View Royal

Camosun College to produce more than 9,000 face shields for Island Health workers

An innovative new design will allow for mass production of face shields for use across Canada

VicPD reunites four-year-old boy with family after he snuck out a window

The boy was spotted wandering alone on Wednesday morning

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

COVID-19: More than 120,000 B.C. food service jobs lost, restaurants begin to shutter permanently

Restaurants Canada estimates $3 billion sales drop due to pandemic

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Most Read