COVID-19 outbreak reported at another B.C. retirement home, health officials announce
VANCOUVER -- B.C. health officials announced a new outbreak at a health-care facility in the province's first novel coronavirus update since Friday.
After announcing the latest numbers – 146 cases in the last four days, but no deaths – Dr. Bonnie Henry said there's now an outbreak in Maple Ridge.
The provincial health officer said the news involves the Maple Ridge Seniors Village, a complex that offers independent and assisted living.
So far, the only case confirmed at the facility on 119 Avenue is in a single staff member.
"Fraser Health is onsite, and the outbreak protocols are being implemented," she said during Tuesday's news conference.
A post on Fraser Health's website says the Maple Ridge Seniors Village has 108 long-term care beds, 90 of which are publicly subsidized.
In an emailed statement, the health authority confirmed a "rapid response team" was at the site, which is owned by Retirement Concepts and operated by West Coast Seniors Housing Management.
Fraser Health said the outbreak is limited to the long-term care unit at the facility, and that there is no crossover among staff who work in other areas of the building.
The staff member confirmed to have the virus is in self-isolation in their own home, Fraser Health said.
Staff are working to identify anyone else who may have been exposed. Residents are confined to their rooms, and there will be screening twice a day.
James Liebenberg with West Coast Seniors Housing Management says staff were already operating carefully at the facility due to the pandemic, working in cohort groups to reduce risk.
"For instance staff will take their break on their unit, they won't go to the staff room" he said. "You eliminate that risk."
Retirement Concepts posted to its website that loved ones will be receiving daily updates by email.
Family visits have been suspended and group activities are also on hold.
Deb Robinson arrived in Maple Ridge from Manitoba along with her sister late Tuesday night, after planning a summer visit with their 86-year-old dad who lives in the independent living section of the facility.
The trip had extra significance as it followed the death of their mother in April.
But instead, Robinson received a call from her dad Wednesday morning with the news the sisters wouldn’t be able to visit in person due to the outbreak.
"Everything has changed. We were just trying to get him out to visit the world again, do some things together, and now we're kind of at sea," Robinson told CTV News.
Instead, the sisters will likely spend their visit seeing their dad from the pavement below his second-floor balcony.
"Sad, right? For a lot of reasons," Robinson said. "Really bad timing."
Liebenberg says lessons have been learned from outbreaks at other facilities over the course of the pandemic, including some operated by his company.
"It is a learning curve for everybody," he said. "There's lessons learned and we try and do it better every time as we go through this."
There are currently three active outbreaks in the health-care system in B.C. - all of them in assisted living or long-term care.
Last week, a staff member at a long-term care home in Burnaby tested positive for COVID-19.
The worker from Dania Home was self-isolating, Fraser Health said Friday, calling it the first outbreak in a long-term care facility in its region since June 17.