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Director appointed to oversee COVID-19 response at B.C. long-term care home after 22 deaths

Strategy to contain ongoing coronavirus outbreak at Langley Lodge care home
Global BC reporter Keith Baldrey asks Dr. Bonnie Henry about the strategy to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Langley Lodge long term care home facility. Also, Dr. Henry responds to a question about federally provided sick days as talk of opening the U.S. border continues.

Public health officials are bringing in more help at the Lower Mainland care home that’s become the site of B.C.’s worst outbreak of COVID-19.

Twenty-two people at the Langley Lodge have died from the virus so far, while 22 residents who were infected have recovered. Ten staff members have also been infected.

Fraser Health announced Thursday it is appointing a director to oversee the pandemic response at the facility and deploying its ultraviolet germicidal irradiation machine, along with infection-control specialists. The machine emits concentrated UV light to disinfect hot spots and kill pathogens such as C. difficile and the novel coronavirus.

Germ-killing robots help fight COVID-19 at B.C. hospital
Germ-killing robots help fight COVID-19 at B.C. hospital

“We know this outbreak has been complex and challenging and has been lasting now for a few weeks,” said chief medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie.

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“This is an outbreak that has been taking a toll on staff. It’s also challenging for the site leadership as well.”

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Additional cleaning staff will also be brought in.

READ MORE: Strategy to contain ongoing coronavirus outbreak at Langley Lodge care home

The outbreak started on a behavioural stabilization unit, Lavoie said, where residents don’t always understand or follow safety measures.

The outbreak at the lodge was declared over in late April. But days later, a new one, which originated with a staff member, was confirmed at the 139-bed facility.

Meanwhile, a resident at the Nicola Lodge care home in Port Coquitlam has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Lavoie said. The person is now in isolation as enhanced infection-control measures are brought in.

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It is not yet known how the virus got into the facility, he said.