2 more positive COVID-19 cases at Calgary care home have community on edge

Click to play video: '2 more positive COVID-19 cases at Calgary care home has community on edge' 2 more positive COVID-19 cases at Calgary care home has community on edge
WATCH: Residents of a retirement facility and care home in Calgary are reeling after learning one of their own community members died from COVID-19. As Jill Croteau reports, they say the outbreak and 2 additional positive cases has made them feel even more vulnerable – Mar 25, 2020

The McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, adding to the three cases reported at the facility Tuesday.

A resident in her 80s died after testing positive for the virus. The loss is hitting uncomfortably close to home for families.

Jenny Miller is visiting her 95-year-old mother Muriel, communicating in written messages through the window.

“It’s got to be short words. I just wrote: ‘We love you,’ and I asked how she was feeling and she’s doing hand signals,” Miller said. “She’s not alarmed, she knows that something bad is going on and they’re doing everything right.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s Dr. Hinshaw explains who should use a face mask' Alberta’s Dr. Hinshaw explains who should use a face mask
Alberta’s Dr. Hinshaw explains who should use a face mask – Mar 25, 2020

READ MORE: Alberta sees 2nd death connected to COVID-19, confirms 358 total cases

Story continues below advertisement

The management company, Revera, said those who tested positive and others in the same part of the continuing care home are in isolation.

The nearby retirement residence isn’t directly impacted by the outbreak, but families aren’t taking any chances, doing everything they can to protect their loved ones.

Johanna Wilkie and her husband, Barry, are visiting her mom. They visited her from the sidewalk, exchanging conversations up to their balcony.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“It’s disturbing but it’s going to start happening and it’s inevitable.

“My mom is a retired nurse herself so they are being very careful in this building,” Johanna said.

“The feeling and the intensity goes up a couple of notches. We heard the news and it’s like: ‘Oh that’s the McKenzie Towne facility!’ So yeah it ratchets it up a notch for sure,” Barry said.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Alberta ramping up enforcement of public health orders; number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbs to 419

The seniors living in the complex next door to the care home said the news of the loss resonated deeply with them. Paul Rainbow and his wife live in the retirement residence.

“It was far out there and it was serious — we were worried, but it really wasn’t going to happen here — but it’s happened here.”

Lesley Lewis also lives at the retirement residence and is a retired nurse. She said the news is unnerving.

“I haven’t seen the speed of the virus quite as fast as this… She was sick one day and boom — gone the next,” Lewis said.

Story continues below advertisement

The management company officials said they are being extra vigilant and have enacted strict outbreak protocol to protect staff and visitors, including restricting access to essential visitors only.

“Strict contact droplet precautions are in place at the home as part of our outbreak protocol,” Revera said in a Tuesday statement.

“Residents in the affected areas of the home are isolated in their rooms. Staff are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) to serve those areas,” Revera’s statement reads.

Sponsored content