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Watchdog’s review underway on management of B.C. long-term care homes under COVID-19

Click to play video 'More calls for changes to visitation at long-term care homes' More calls for changes to visitation at long-term care homes
As B.C. closes in on the January 28th anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in this province, there are more calls for changes to visitation rules in long-term care facilities. – Jan 26, 2021

This month, Canada marks a grim anniversary: it’s been one year since the novel coronavirus was first detected here.

Several weeks later, B.C. found itself in the national spotlight. It was at the Lynn Valley Centre, in North Vancouver where a staff member tested positive on March 5, 2020.

Three days later, an elderly male resident became the pandemic’s first victim.

The situation at Lynn Valley is now eclipsed by the tragedy unfolding at Little Mountain Place. It is the site of the deadliest long term care home outbreak in British Columbia, with 41 residents falling victim to the virus.

Click to play video 'Dr. Patricia Daly speaks out about controversy over COVID-19 transparency' Dr. Patricia Daly speaks out about controversy over COVID-19 transparency
Dr. Patricia Daly speaks out about controversy over COVID-19 transparency – Jan 11, 2021

Read more: Metro Vancouver’s top doctor defends response, transparency amid COVID-19 outbreaks

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According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, by June 2020, retirement and nursing homes accounted for over 80 per cent of Canada’s coronavirus deaths. Among the world’s richest
nations, Canada had the highest proportion of deaths occurring in long-term care.

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In B.C., a review is now underway by the senior’s advocate. Isobel Mackenzie said they want to understand what could have been done to better contain the outbreaks.

“We need to understand why did some care homes in the Lower Mainland experience an outbreak or multiple outbreaks and others didn’t,” she said.

Click to play video 'Major jump in COVID-19 cases in B.C., including first case of community transmission' Major jump in COVID-19 cases in B.C., including first case of community transmission
Major jump in COVID-19 cases in B.C., including first case of community transmission – Mar 5, 2020

Read more: Report finds communication, coordination issues in B.C.’s long-term care COVID-19 response

There is hope the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, even though it’s already too late for some families.

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B.C. has recorded another 407 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday to bring the provincial total to 65,234 cases.

To date, 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., the province confirmed, 4,105 of which are second doses.