Calgary seniors celebrate ‘fantastic’ success of COVID-19-free care home

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Calgary seniors celebrate ‘fantastic’ success of COVID-free care home
WATCH: Ever since the pandemic began, seniors have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. But there are success stories in the battle against the coronavirus, as Gil Tucker found out at a Calgary care home. – Jun 14, 2021

Taking part in an outdoor exercise class on a sunny spring morning, some Calgary seniors had something to celebrate Monday.

“(We’ve) kept COVID out of the building, 100 per cent,” care home resident Gerry Williams said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, not one of the residents at the Whitehorn Village Retirement Community has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“That’s fantastic!” Williams said.

Read more: Calgary seniors bring joy with online music during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s quite a contrast to what’s been happening at so many other care homes.

“My mother-in-law, she lost 19 of the seniors at her residence, so we are very, very lucky,” Whitehorn Village recreation aide Claudia Castanaza said.

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The building’s residents credit the staff for staying on top of safety protocols during the pandemic.

Read more: Many seniors struggle with loneliness. The pandemic has only made it worse

“Housekeeping did an unbelievable job,” Williams said.

Residents say food service employees consistently followed all policies to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The staff worked very, very hard during this,” said Margie Kobol. “I think they were heroes.”

Staff members say residents also did their part to keep the care home COVID-19-free.

Read more: Wise Words: Seniors share inspiration for maintaining mental health as pandemic wears on

“They really followed whatever was asked of them,” housekeeper Melita Singh said. “They stayed in their rooms and followed the rules.”

Staff and residents say things are looking sunny as we head into summer.

“We all have had our second shot,” resident Evelyn Horvath said.

Everyone at Whitehorn Village hopes they’ve put the worst of the pandemic behind them.

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“We are very proud and happy here,” Singh said, adding with a laugh that many are looking forward to having “a barbecue and a party.”

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