Coronavirus case confirmed at 5th Metro Vancouver long-term care home

Click to play video: 'Access to long term care homes finally restricted'
Access to long term care homes finally restricted
With the COVID-19 outbreak now at five Metro Vancouver long-term care homes health authorities finally moved to restrict access the facilities across the province. Paul Johnson reports – Mar 21, 2020

A positive case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed at a fifth long-term care home in Metro Vancouver.

Fraser Health said Saturday that a staff member at Delta View Care Centre has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The health authority’s statement said “no additional transmission” has been identified inside the home, where “comprehensive control measures” have been implemented.

The announcement came a day after a second seniors’ home in the Fraser Health region, Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam, also saw a staff member test positive for the disease.

Fraser Health said both facilities have health-care teams in place to “rapidly address quality and communication issues and actively check symptoms in staff and residents.”

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Staff at Delta View, which is owned by the non-profit Good Samaritan Canada, will also no longer be allowed to work at any other facility.

Fraser Health said medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie will issue a public health order to help protect seniors and limit the spread of COVID-19 in the region’s long-term care homes.

Click to play video: 'RCH physicians call on B.C.’s top doctor to enforce social distancing'
RCH physicians call on B.C.’s top doctor to enforce social distancing

The order requires facilities to deny access to all visitors except family and spiritual advisors of residents “who are clinically assessed to be at the end of their lives.”

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In addition, residents will only be allowed to be transferred between facilities if the transfer is approved by a medical health officer. Facilities will also be required to carry out enhanced cleaning of all rooms and common areas, and enhanced screening of staff.

All group social activities will be cancelled or postponed indefinitely under the order, which was issued through powers granted under B.C.’s Public Health Act.

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Facilities throughout the region must also submit a plan that ensures staff no longer work at multiple facilities, a common practice in the health-care system. Physicians, paramedics and laboratory technicians will be exempt from the restriction.

In addition to the order, new measures to be implemented by Fraser Health include the temporary suspension of inter-facility transfers, except in circumstances of intolerable risk, and suspension of all health authority-operated and funded home and community care adult day programs.

In-facility respite will also be temporarily suspended, except in circumstances of “intolerable risk.”

Admissions to long-term care from acute care will be prioritized over those from the community “where possible,” Fraser Health said.

Click to play video: 'Younger British Columbians are also getting sick from COVID-19'
Younger British Columbians are also getting sick from COVID-19

The same measures were implemented for long-term care homes in the Vancouver Coastal Health region on Saturday.

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Three other long-term care homes in Metro Vancouver have seen outbreaks of COVID-19, most notably Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, which has seen dozens of cases and at least nine deaths.

Cases have also been identified at West Vancouver’s Hollyburn House, an independent living facility, and Vancouver’s Haro Park Centre.

As of Sunday morning, 424 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in B.C., 10 of which have been fatal.

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