Hope care homes, seniors residences close to visitors

Preventative measures ramped up as COVID-19 found in several B.C. long term care facilities

Long term care and seniors living homes in Hope have closed to visitors, as Fraser Health implements a public health order for all long-term care facilities in the region.

The Fraser Hope Lodge has closed to visitors, as have the independent living facilities Riverside Manor and Park Street Manor.

Cases of COVID-19 have been identified at two care homes in the Fraser Health region last week: a healthcare worker at the Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam and a staff member at the Delta View Care Centre. “No additional transmission has occurred at this time,” Fraser Health stated.

A public health order will be put in place for all long-term care homes, Fraser Health announced over the weekend. This includes only allowing essential visits, screening all visitors before entering the facilities and banning anyone with symptoms from entering the buildings, including staff. Group activities in the facilities will stop, and residents will be separated when dining.

“Fraser Health will be actively monitoring compliance of this Public Health Order by having on site presence across all of our long term care facilities,” an email from Fraser Health’s media team stated.

Other measures announced Saturday include the temporary suspension of transfers between facilities “except in circumstances of intolerable risk,” suspending day programs operated or funded by Fraser Health and the temporary suspension of in-facility respite “except in circumstances of intolerable risk.”

While technically not a care home, the assisted and independent living facility Riverside Manor has closed to visitors as of last Tuesday.

General manager Virginia Roberts said no visitors are allowed and anyone coming into the building has their temperature taken. No staff have any symptoms so far, Roberts said, if they did they would be told to self-isolate. As far as testing goes, Roberts said they are willing to have staff tested but Fraser Health has not yet offered this.

Residents are being told to stay indoors as well, said Roberts, and while it’s “too isolating to keep them in their rooms” residents are being encouraged to keep their distance within the facility. An Ipad will be set up, and sanitized in between uses, to allow residens to Skype with their families.

“We can get through this together and I’m finding our residents aren’t stressing out as much as they can, sometimes,” Roberts said. “We’re trying to keep it calm and we’ve got them to understand that we’re doing this to make sure it doesn’t get out of control here.”

June and Randy Young have family at Riverside – June’s mother and Randy’s father and mother-in-law. June said while they are lonely, they are checking in by phone three to four times a day. “(We) just keep encouraging them that they’re safe, we hope they’re safe, but probably in a better place than they were if they were home by themselves,” she said, adding that although they don’t need extra care staff are taking temperatures daily.

“It’s hard for us and hard for our parents, but I think it’s for the best,” Randy said. “I would hate to see them go through what the one is in North Van right now, that’s going to be just devastating”

John Duff manages Mount Hope Senior Citizens Home, more commonly referred to as Park Street Manor. The 18-resident independent living facility closed to visitors early last week.

“It’s all new to us, so we’re trying to be proactive with it,” Duff said. He is encouraging social distancing within the facility, stepping up cleaning and sanitizing and staying abreast of daily news from health officials. So far all of the nine staff members are healthy and Duff hasn’t yet heard from Fraser Health about testing.

British Columbia now has 725 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including cases at long-term care facilities in Delta and Vancouver. A North Vancouver care home is also the site of Canada’s first COVID-19-related death followed by seven others at the same home.

In response, provincial medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that incoming long-term care home staff will be screened daily and more training on the use of personal protective equipment is beginning.

Read more:

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

Daughter of man at B.C. care home hit by COVID-19 says loneliness is a big issue

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