Staff member at 4th B.C. care home diagnosed with COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- The novel coronavirus has reached another seniors’ home in British Columbia.
A staff member at Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam tested positive for the virus and is being kept in self-isolation at home, health officials announced Friday.
Dufferin, which is owned by Retirement Concepts, marks the fourth care home in the province to report a case of COVID-19.
The Fraser Health Authority said it’s currently working to “identify anyone who may have been exposed and taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families.”
Officials are also limiting guests to essential visitors, increasing cleaning and infection control measures, notifying families, and barring Dufferin employees from working at any other facilities in order to prevent the possible spread of the virus.
One example of an essential visitor would be a family member who assists with feeding, the company said.
The new case at Dufferin Care Centre is just one of 77 COVID-19 cases announced by health officials on Friday, bringing the total in B.C. up to 348 and the total across Canada to more than 1,000.
During her daily virus briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry took a moment to acknowledge the difficulties health workers are facing during the pandemic.
“I know how challenging it is when we are dealing with a new virus, a virus particularly for which we have no cure, we have no vaccine, we have no way of preventing it – and we know that it can cause quite severe illness in people we love and people that we care for and people we are close to,” Henry said.
Despite the growing number of care homes that have been impacted by COVID-19, Henry stressed that officials know much more about the virus than they did at the outset, and that “hundreds of people have been safely cared for by our health care teams here in Vancouver, here in B.C. and in Canada.”
Local outbreaks at care homes are major concern because people over 60 are considered to be more susceptible to COVID-19. Eight of the nine people who have died in British Columbia were residents of Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, the first seniors’ home to report coronavirus cases.
Since then, the virus has infected one staff member at Hollyburn House in West Vancouver and one resident at Haro Park Centre in Vancouver.
West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which manages Retirement Concepts properties, issued a statement assuring family members of Dufferin Care Centre residents that the company is taking the situation seriously and has an internal emergency response team monitoring developments.