A COVID-19 case at Berwick By The Sea in Campbell River, an independent living facility, was confirmed by Island Health earlier this week.
The home has 135 units and all residents are now isolating in their suites for 14 days.
To protect the resident’s privacy, Berwick isn’t providing many specifics about the person but is saying that the coronavirus was contracted outside the facility.
“It was brought to our attention by the Vancouver Island Health Authority Tuesday that a member of our Berwick By The Sea community was symptomatic and was swabbed for the novel coronavirus,” said Lesley Sikorski, director of sales and marketing for Berwick Retirement Communities.
The individual was then isolated to their suite and the test came back positive on Wednesday.
“We can not comment on the specifics on exactly how they contracted the virus but we can say is that public health is very confident that they have been in touch with all individuals who may have had any sort of interaction with this individual who is infected, and is taking all necessary steps to ensure those individuals are being monitored,” added Sikorski. “If you have not been contacted by public health, you are not at risk from exposure to this individual.”
An outbreak protocol was already in place at all Berwick homes but a “pandemic plan” went into effect in Campbell River after this person tested positive for Covid-19.
“We’ve established a dedicated isolation team whose sole responsibility is to deliver food and act as first responders to that particular individual, freeing up the rest of our staff to attend to the other residents,” said Sikorski. “Any time that isolation team has to go into that suite they are in personal protective equipment for safety.”
Sikorski says while it is a vulnerable population living in the facility, it is an independent living facility not a long term care facility like where many outbreaks have occurred.
She adds staff and residents are holding up well
“Our staff at Berwick By The Sea have been absolutely phenomenal. They’ve really come together, the residents are rallying behind our initiatives,” she said.
Here is a list of the other safety precautions being taken at Berwick By The Sea as provided by Berwick Retirement Communities.
1) Berwick’s Director of Clinical Services (RN) notified and positioned onsite
2) Communication to residents, families and staff deployed via hand-delivered
letters and emails
3) All residents remain quarantined in their suites for the next 14-days
4) While residents remain quarantined, a further deep clean of the entire building
will be commencing immediately. This includes disinfecting “high-touch
areas” light switches, tables, chairs, handrails, walls, countertops, door
handles etc. As a result, all common areas will be closed.
5) An “Isolation Team” has been established and on a daily basis will be
responsible for delivering food and as responders to the symptomatic
resident. These staff members cannot deliver meals or respond to any
pendant calls for any other suites. This team will be utilizing required personal
protective equipment (PPE) out of an abundance of caution.
6) All staff entering a room must knock on a resident door using an elbow, r light tap
using foot. They know to take a few steps back from door to maintain social
distance of 6 feet. Residents will be asked to have a seat in their living room or
an area where we can manage safe social distancing of a minimum 6 feet while
placing food tray on a preferred surface (kitchen counter, dining table etc.).
7) In-suite housekeeping services will be cancelled while resident is on isolation.
If housekeeping is urgently required, please call front desk.
8) Staff will be delivering meals and activity to-go bags to each suite daily –
residents will have two-choice meal options for lunch and dinner. Staff will be
wearing gloves and surgical masks to isolated suites.
9) Staff will continue to follow our outbreak protocols in place when providing
care and assistance to those receiving our Enhanced Living Services and will
also be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) out of an abundance of