'It's changed the mood': Charlottetown nursing home restricts visits amid flu outbreak

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'It's changed the mood': Charlottetown nursing home restricts visits amid flu outbreak

'It's changed the mood': Charlottetown nursing home restricts visits amid flu outbreak

The Whisperwood Villa seniors home in Charlottetown is temporarily restricting visits from family and friends as a precaution after two cases of the flu were confirmed in the building over the weekend.

Jason Lee, CEO of Prince Edward Island Seniors Homes, said the decision to temporarily stop visits during a flu outbreak is standard protocol at Whisperwood Villa and designed to protect the residents and members of the public from becoming infected. 

"It's not uncommon in any nursing home this time of year," he said.

"We now have a situation where we want to take every precaution to keep the people who are healthy, healthy and make sure that those residents who are showing flu symptoms are going to recover as fast as possible."

Outbreak confirmed 

The Whisperwood Villa has 133 residents. Lee said two confirmed cases of an illness like the flu is considered to be an outbreak. 

"It's a fairly small number but by definition it is an outbreak," Lee said. "Keeping in mind that we're dealing with an older population of residents, who have often times their immune system isn't as strong as we'd like it to be so we take every precaution when we have an outbreak like this."

Lee said Whisperwood Villa is making some exceptions and letting a few everyday visitors continue to come into the home, provided they take extra precautions like wearing protective gowns and face masks to ensure they don't get sick. 

Re-evaluate after Jan. 21

Visitation will be restricted until Jan. 21, at which point the home will re-evaluate the situation and open its doors to visitors if it's safe.

Lee said residents are missing having the extra activity visitors bring to the home. 

"It's changed the mood. I think we're all looking forward to getting past this and back to normal." 

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