All staff and residents in the Port Alberni long-term care home are being tested for COVID-19, according to Island Health. (Eric Plummer photo)
Two days after a staff member at Tsawaayuus Rainbow Gardens tested positive for COVID-19, a case has been reported with a resident in the long-term care facility.
Island Health declared an outbreak at the Port Alberni care home on Nov. 16, following its policy when a staff member is confirmed to have the highly contagious respiratory disease. All workers and the facility’s 44 residents are being tested, and results from one resident came back positive on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
“One of the residents deemed as a close contact to the initial staff case has tested positive for COVID-19,” stated Island Health in a press release. “As a precautionary measure, this resident will be transferred out of the facility and that is expected to occur on the evening of Nov. 18. This is only precautionary and this resident is not experiencing symptoms at this time.”
The health authority noted that results from all others who work and live in Rainbow Gardens have so far come back negative.
“Since the outbreak was declared on Nov. 16, the three residents considered close contacts to the initial staff case have been isolated in their rooms, the unit where their rooms are located has been isolated from the rest of the building, and staff movement has been restricted to that unit,” continued the press release.
In an effort to control the outbreak, the use of personal protective equipment has been enhanced across the facility, and additional public health nurses are working at Rainbow Gardens to speed up the testing process, stated Island Heath. Those who live next to the long-term care home in Rainbow Gardens’ assisted living units are also being tested.
In a notice to families, Rainbow Gardens said that only essential visits are permitted at this time for critically ill residents and those undergoing end-of-life care. One visitor per resident is allowed for these cases, while school-aged children and youth as well as younger visitors are asked not to come.
“Please refrain from sending food and gifts to your loved one as this may pose an exposure risk to coronavirus (COVID-19),” stated Tsawaayuus Rainbow Gardens.
As of Nov. 18, British Columbia has recorded 24,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Three hundred and twenty of those who have tested positive have succumbed to the illness, giving B.C. a 1.3 per cent fatality rate among reported infections. The median age of those who do not survive is 85, according to the Ministry of Health.