Fred Gerl is worried for his 88-year-old mother whose Campbell River long term care is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak.
“Just complete shock,” said Gerl, a Campbell River resident.
“She’s in the ward where the outbreak is occurring, where the staff member was working,” he said.
Discovery Harbour Seniors Community went into lockdown on Thursday, after a staff member tested positive for the virus. Sixty-six-year-old Gerl had just been visiting his mom on Wednesday inside her room.
“It’s not good. I don’t know if I’ve come into contact with that staff member,” said Gerl.
“This very moment, I don’t even know if I am safe.”
According to Island Health, the COVID-19 exposure is contained to the third floor unit of the building, but the entire 148-bed facility is on lockdown.
“With the knowledge of what could go wrong or what could happen, yeah I’m extremely worried,” said Gerl.
The outbreak in Campbell River is the second at a long-term care facility on Vancouver Island this week.
On Monday, a staff member at Tsawaayuuss Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni tested positive for COVID-19 then a resident tested positive on Wednesday.
According to officials, the two outbreaks are a result of the multiplying COVID-19 cases outside care homes walls.
“Four weeks ago, we had about 175 cases a day,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, on Thursday.
“And I was anxious then. Yesterday we had over 700 people in our province affected and we know that our hospitals are getting stretched, our ICU capacity is getting stretched. Our communities are suffering.”
“Whether they work in a health care facility or whether they are just going grocery shopping or whatnot, wear a mask,” said Gerl.
“If you don’t, we’re going to end up with more of this and it’s not good.”
Gerl said he is now hoping for the best, and trusting the people inside his mother’s care home to keep the former nurse safe.
So far no additional staff or patients at Discovery Harbour have shown symptoms of COVID-19.