1 person dead, 38 test positive for COVID-19 in White Rock care home

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An outbreak of COVID-19 at a White Rock, B.C., care home has left one person dead and at least 38 in isolation.

Staff at West Coast Seniors Housing Management confirmed Monday a senior living in the White Rock Seniors Village has died after testing positive for the virus earlier this month.

On Nov, 3, the Fraser Health Authority reported an outbreak at the centre that had 16 staff members and 23 residents on the third floor of the long-term care building test positive.

Barbara Barry, the director of communications, sales and marketing for West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which oversees the seniors village, says the first person to test positive was an asymptomatic staff member.

"You have this sad reality of someone who tests positive who has no symptoms. So, they don't know," Barry said.

This isn't the first time a staff member has tested positive at the White Rock Seniors Village.

Prior to the current outbreak, a month earlier on Oct. 3, the Fraser Health Authority sent out a notice to say a staff member at the village had tested positive for COVID-19.

Barry said staff are in a cohort system that is aimed at protecting patients during an outbreak.

"Meaning that if you have a group of residents that are positive, the same staff always deals with them," Barry said.

In a bulletin to family members, the centre said extra precautions continue to be in place, including residents remaining in isolation in their rooms with dedicated care staff.

Barry said out of an abundance of caution, residents and staff on the second floor were also tested on Saturday and all 51 tests came back negative.

Barry said, despite the outbreak, residents are getting the care they need.

"Fraser Health also helps provide us extra staff when we need it, which has been really valuable. We can also bring staff from other facilities if we get the proper exemptions," she said.