An independent living community for seniors says its COVID-19 outbreak is worsening, with dozens of residents now testing positive for the disease.
Waterford Independent Living Community in Tsawwassen, which is operated by Bria, first announced the outbreak on Dec. 26 after one resident tested positive. By Jan. 2, 15 people had received positive test results.
But by the following day, the outbreak had grown to 51 residents and six staff. As of Monday, the number of residents infected with the virus increased again to 54, with Bria releasing a statement that said “a small number” are in hospital.
“Others are experiencing mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, and some are asymptomatic,” the facility operator said.
“All residents are on droplet precautions and self-isolating in their suites.”
Waterford also has a long-term care centre, and the facility said there are no cases among staff or residents there, and precautions are being taken to keep the virus from spreading any further, including enhanced cleaning and monitoring, a temporary ban on visitors, and a halt on transfers in or out until Jan. 14.
“Some care centre staff have received the (COVID-19) vaccine, and we were recently informed that within a few weeks we will have a date for a vaccination clinic for Care Centre residents,” Bria said. However, the facility also noted there has been no indication that residents on the independent living side will receive early access to the vaccine.
“This will be a provincial decision and we strongly advocate for all seniors who live (in) congregate settings be given the priority for immunization,” the statement said.
CTV News requested to speak with someone at Waterford, but were told there was no one available for comment Monday. There’s still no word on how this outbreak may have been triggered, or how it grew so quickly.
Starting Tuesday, Fraser Health will give door-to-door wellness checks to those who have tested positive. All residents and staff who have currently tested negative will be checked again on Thursday. They'll continue to receive tests every week until the outbreak is declared over.
Fraser Health has not posted a notice about the outbreak on its website.
Two other outbreaks were declared over on the weekend. On Sunday, Fraser Health released a statement saying the outbreaks at Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge and at the Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey have now ended.
"With the implementation of comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in care facilities, there are no longer any COVID-19 cases at these locations," the health authority's statement said.