The owner of a personal-care home in St. Anthony is thanking the community for stepping up to the plate to help look after seniors as COVID-19 swept through the facility.
More than 40 residents have tested positive for the virus at Shirley's Haven Personal Care Home over the past week, including owner Kim Barney. Barney said about half of the home's staff had to self-isolate, which led to concerns over whether the seniors would be properly cared for.
A public plea from Barney on Facebook, however, answered her prayers.
"The people in the community have come in and helped do resident care. They've gotten ready and helped strip out beds. The hospital cleaning staff came up and cleaned my home right through for me on Saturday because we couldn't do it," Barney told CBC News on Monday.
"We are [managing], but only because of the support of the community. The community health nurses have been rock solid. I've never had so much support."
Help from community members — many of whom have already recovered from COVID-19 — has ranged from cleaning to cooking, while the home has also received help with treatment and medications from community health nurses.
And while it may be seen as a hard sell to get volunteers into an outbreak space, many saw the opportunity as a chance to give back to the seniors of St. Anthony.
"These are the people that contribute to this community for years. They're our forefathers. We're following in their footsteps," Barney said. "There's no words to express how much it means to me to see my residents being cared for. Because that was my main concern."
Although two people had to be hospitalized due to COVID severity, Barney believes the support from the community helped keep spirits high as the residents got through the outbreak.
"You can't even get over how well they are and how they are holding up," she said. "We're very blessed, and I'm pretty sure we're over the hump — hoping and praying."