This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Photo courtesy NIAID-RML via AP.

LETTER – B.C. government should introduce protocol to protect province’s seniors during Covid-19 outbreak

Dear editor,

If Covid-19 was a disease that had a 10 per cent+ death rate in pre-school children, our society would be reeling if there were news of a daycare in North Vancouver having two confirmed cases of the disease or news of a death. All kinds of protocols would be put in place across the province to protect our children. And that is as it should be.

But it seems Covid-19 is a disease that has a 14 per cent and higher (depending on pre-morbidity issues) death rate in elders, (WHO information) and now we have heard of two confirmed cases in a seniors care facility in North Vancouver and as of March 9, one of those seniors has died. The response of the BC government should be, at very least, to require protocols to protect this vulnerable group. We have not heard that mandatory screening is required for anyone – staff or visitors entering a long-term care facility, which would seem to be a basic preventative measure.

A long-term care facility is like a cruise ship in this time of crisis, but the residents did not choose this “holiday,” and they do not have an opportunity to ever disembark or fly home. The BC government needs to move and move quickly to prevent another long-term care facility from becoming a breeding ground for this new and, for seniors, deadly, disease.

Jennifer Pass,

On behalf of Comox Valley Elders Take Action

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