A case of COVID-19 at Berwick-by-the-Sea seniors residence in Campbell River has been confirmed. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Cambpell River Mirror

Case of COVID-19 at Campbell River seniors residence confirmed

Berwick by the Sea, Island Health taking necessary steps to protect residents, staff and community

A case of COVID-19 at Campbell River’s Berwick by the Sea retirement community has been confirmed by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

A statement from Berwick Retirement Communities and Berwick by the Sea says they are working with Island Health to take the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all residents and staff, as well as those in the broader community.

Island Health has also confirmed that close contacts of the individual who tested positive have been notified and all necessary steps are being taken, the statement from Lesley Sikorski, Berwick’s director of sales and marketing, says. If you have not been contacted by Public Health, you are not considered at risk of exposure to this individual.

“All of Berwick’s leadership teams are working hard to closely monitor the situation at Berwick by the Sea. All Berwick communities have been diligently preparing for this situation and outbreak protocols have been in place since last week out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff,” the statement says. “We are taking every step possible to ensure the virus is contained. The health and safety of our residents and staff is a top priority for Berwick Retirement Communities.”

Berwick Retirement Communities is working rigorously around the clock with Island Health to control and contain the virus. Berwick is also communicating daily with the Communicable Disease Nurse.

As communicated to all family members in a letter yesterday, the most efficient way to receive a response regarding the confirmed case at Berwick by the Sea is to send an email to the following address: bcr.outbreak@berwickrc.com as all staff within the Berwick by the Sea community are supporting outbreak procedures.

This also serves as a reminder that COVID-19 is a concern that is not isolated to one region or city on Vancouver Island and it is imperative for everyone to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s directives around physical distancing, hygiene and self-isolating if you have symptoms, the statement says.

In a letter to residents of the building in downtown Campbell River, Berwick director of operations, Kelly Lazaro, says, “It has been brought to our attention by the Vancouver Island Health Authority that a member of our Berwick by the Sea community has a confirmed case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

“While we understand that this may be distressing to hear, the good news is all of the precautions we have implemented to date will assist us to mitigate the spread further and protect both staff and resident’s safety. We have been diligently preparing for this situation and we are ready to execute our pandemic plan. We also want to emphasize that our entire Berwick leadership team will remain fully committed to your health and safety as we proceed forward with this situation,” Lazaro says.

The letter to residents outlines the protocol being taken in the building:

  • Berwick’s Director of Clinical Services (RN) notified and positioned onsite
  • Communication to residents, families and staff deployed via hand-delivered letters and emails
  • All residents remain quarantined in their suites for the next 14-days
  • While residents remain quarantined, a further deep clean of our entire building will be commencing immediately. This includes disinfecting “high-touch areas” light switches, tables, chairs, handrails, walls, counter tops, door handles etc. As a result, all common areas will be closed.
  • An “Isolation Team” has been established and on a daily basis will be responsible for delivering food and as responders to the symptomatic resident. These staff members cannot deliver meals or respond to any pendant calls for any other suites. This team will be utilizing required personal protective equipment (PPE) out of an abundance of caution.
  • All staff entering room must knock on resident door using elbow, or light tap using foot. They know to take a few steps back from door to maintain social distance of 6 ft. Residents will be asked to have a seat in their living room, or an area where we can manage safe social distancing of minimum 6 ft. while placing food tray on your preferred surface (kitchen counter, dining table etc.).
  • In suite housekeeping services will be cancelled while resident is on isolation. If housekeeping is urgently required, please call front desk.
  • Staff will be delivering meals and activity to-go bags to each suite daily – residents will have two-choice meal options for lunch and dinner. Staff will be wearing gloves and surgical masks to isolated suites.
  • Staff will continue to follow our outbreak protocols in place when providing care and assistance to those receiving our Enhanced Living Services and will also be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) out of an abundance of caution.
  • Please remember, one of our best defenses around mitigating further spread is proper hand washing, avoid touching your face (mouth, eyes, nose) and practicing good cough etiquette to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Lazaro says the situation is being taken seriously and asked for everyone to remain calm: “We want you to know that your safety is paramount and that we take this situation very seriously. It is very important that we all remain calm as Berwick transitions into its outbreak protocol. We all have very important roles to play in this scenario and now more than ever, we must unite together and do whatever we can to contain this virus and prevent the further spread within our community.”

RELATED: B.C. 2-1-1 hotline expands to link COVID-19 homebound seniors, volunteers

For more on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our CORONAVIRUS PAGE


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

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