'Big relief': Manoir Belle Vue COVID-19 outbreak shows hopeful signs, daughter says

·3 min read

Louise Michaud is breathing a little easier today after her 93-year-old mother's latest COVID-19 test came back negative and volunteers have stepped up to help the Edmundston, N.B., special care home where she lives cope with a major COVID-19 outbreak.

Rose Alma Gagnon is a resident of the Manoir Belle Vue, which had 55 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease, as of Monday — 34 residents and 21 employees.

It's the largest active outbreak at a long-term care home in New Brunswick since the pandemic began in March.

The Villa des Jardins nursing home in Edmundston also has a large outbreak, with 32 confirmed cases, as of Tuesday afternoon, including 17 residents and 16 staff. Public Health is awaiting the results of retesting conducted Wednesday.

Manoir Belle Vue announced Wednesday no new cases of COVID-19 were detected during its latest round of tests.

"It was a big relief," said Michaud, a retired nurse.

She said she realizes the situation can change rapidly but she's "hoping for the best."

All residents and employees who tested negative were expected to be retested again Thursday morning, said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell.

Ten residents were also released from their self-isolation, she said.

"We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we are beyond happy about it," the Manoir Belle Vue posted on its Facebook page in French.

The majority of residents "feel good" and have almost completed their 14 days of isolation, according to the post.

Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada
Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada

Michaud spoke to her mother Wednesday night and "she is really OK. Much better."

The mother of four and grandmother of four "feels like she's in good hands."

"She says many people are in place to help, talk to them. She did not complain. Thank God for all the [people] who work hard."

It's been a difficult couple of weeks, said Michaud. Worried relatives looking for information weren't able to reach anyone when they called the home because members of the administration were all off.

"I was hoping that the owner or spokesperson [would speak] on the radio or TV and tell us what they were doing and talk to journalists. And maybe the journalists would have had some questions, but all the news we had, it was on Facebook," she said.

Submitted by Louise Michaud
Submitted by Louise Michaud

Although there were regular posts on the home's Facebook page, she noted not everyone is on Facebook. "And even when we were asking questions on Facebook, we didn't have any answers. So it was a little bit stressful."

Not being able to see her mother has been hard for Michaud too. Normally, she visits her a few times a week.

Her mother tells her over the phone that she's doing OK isolating in her room, passing the time reading and watching TV. But Michaud fears her mother just doesn't want to worry her.

"Talking to them is not like seeing them."

She'd like the Manoir to follow the lead of other homes and have an employee with an iPad go around to all the residents so they can have a short video chat with their loved ones.

"I think it would help a lot."

Bernard Lebel/Radio-Canada
Bernard Lebel/Radio-Canada

The Edmundston region, Zone 4, had nine of the 16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Thursday.

The other cases included:

  • Moncton region, Zone 1: 5

  • Fredericton region, Zone 3: 1

  • Bathurst region, Zone 6: 1

The Edmundston region remains on full lockdown, as it has been since Jan. 23.

On Monday, the government will reassess the COVID-19 alert levels of Zone 4 and the Moncton region, Zone 1, which is at the next strictest red level, said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.

"Right now, the numbers are looking positive in both regions," she said.

If the number of active cases continue to decline, the government will consider changing them. "Our goal is to move the entire province to the orange alert level as soon as we can."

CBC News
CBC News