Still no COVID-19 cases at Island Health long-term care facilities

Health authority takes ‘robust’ management approach to all illness outbreaks

No cases of COVID-19 have been found at any Island Health long-term care or assisted living facilities, according to the health authority.

The number of non-coronavirus outbreaks are not atypical either, according to the health authority, and each one prompts a ‘robust’ management approach.

Active outbreaks indicate an illness or virus found in two or more patients at a given facility. In late March and early April, tests confirmed an active outbreak of a gastrointestinal or norovirus-like illnesses at two Greater Victoria care homes; Amica on the Gorge and the Lodge at Broadmead.

On April 7 an outbreak of respiratory syncytial virus was found at Victoria’s Mount Saint Mary Hospital.

READ ALSO: Outbreak in Saanich mental health facility not COVID-19, says Island Health

Every person presenting symptoms is immediately tested for COVID-19, says Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health medical health officer. Because, as demonstrated by coronavirus cases at care homes across Canada and in Vancouver – such as those at the Lynn Valley Care Centre – the facilities house people who are “medically fragile” and far more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus.

“Certainly we’re well aware of the tragedies that have occurred in our long-term care settings,” Hasselback said. “We were fortunate to have a good foundation for outbreak management.”

“If an individual develops a cough and fever, they are put on isolation even more so than the facility already has people,” he added. “There’s an added layer of protection added in at that point in time so the staff don’t get exposed and carry it to someone else.”

READ ALSO: B.C. screening care home workers as two more test positive for COVID-19

Hasselback said, barring a detailed analysis, the outbreaks have been fairly typical for this time of year.

“I actually think the last couple of months, because we’ve been implementing a variety of restrictions, there’s so much sensitivity to respiratory illness coming into long-term care, we had a bit of a blip initially … now we’re seeing even less illness than we would typically this time of year,” he said.

They’re doing the “right thing” with strict infection prevention and control in place at long-term care and assisted living facilities across the province.

For example, workers who before may have worked at more than one facility, are limited to one care home. Residents are taught hand and respiratory hygiene and personal protective equipment is required for proximity around any symptomatic residents.

And all symptomatic residents are reported to Island Health.

“Because long-term care facilities are being extremely diligent, they are calling us on fairly mild symptoms,” Hasselback said. “We may see a few individuals they might not have called for in the past. But the good news is we’ve not seen any COVID-19 in any of our long-term care facilities yet, here on the Island.”

As of April 15, there are 1,561 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 92 on Vancouver Island. More than 950 British Columbians have recovered from the virus and 75 have died.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Brand new Victoria long-term care home could take pressure off hospitals



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusHealthcareVancouver Island Health Authority

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Most Read