More than 50 residents at Tsawwassen seniors home diagnosed with COVID-19

·2 min read

More than 50 residents at a seniors home in Tsawwassen, B.C., have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first case was confirmed there nine days ago.

A total of 51 residents at the Waterford independent living facility had been diagnosed with the disease as of Sunday, according to an update posted on the centre's website. Six staff have also tested positive for the virus.

Bria Communities — which manages the Waterford along with a similar, smaller facility, the Wexford — said in an update posted on its website that staff "continue to work with Fraser Health to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus."

The centre has not announced any deaths linked to the outbreak.

"This is a difficult time for everyone: residents, family members and staff. We are so appreciative of your support as we seek to track and contain the virus. We are also grateful for all our care centre and independent living staff who are going the extra mile at work, and in their personal lives, to ensure each resident's safety and health," the update read.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed at the facility on Dec. 26.

Nurse to begin 'wellness checks' with residents

CBC News has reached out to a spokesperson to confirm the total number of residents currently living inside the centre.

A description of the Waterford said there are 106 suites in the facility, with two supportive housing options: independent living or a suite with 24-hour nursing care.

In its update, Bria said Fraser Health will be sending a licensed practical nurse to the facility to run door-to-door wellness checks with residents who have COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

"All residents are considered to be on droplet precautions pending results, which means they must self-isolate and only essential caregivers wearing full PPE [personal protective equipment] may enter suites."

Bria said all residents and staff who have tested negative will be tested again on Thursday and then weekly until the outbreak is over. Employees with symptoms will self-isolate, the update said.

Families with relatives living in long-term care facilities across B.C. have called for better communications from health authorities and care centres about outbreaks. Some family members have struggled to find basic information on how outbreaks were handled, leaving them in the dark about their loved ones' illnesses and deaths.

Bria said it is "committed to transparent communication regarding [The Waterford] outbreak while respecting the privacy of residents," and said it will continue to post updates on its site.