Families of residents living at Nanaimo care homes dealing with COVID outbreaks feel ‘helpless’

Families of residents living at Nanaimo care homes dealing with COVID outbreaks feel 'helpless'
WatchFamilies with loved ones in two Nanaimo Long Term Care homes that have Covid-19 outbreaks, are nervously waiting for updates. Wexford Creek has a single case and Eden Gardens has two, despite the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out at both.

Mary Dewar felt a wave of relief when she and her husband who lives with advanced Alzheimer’s in long-term care received their first COVID-19 vaccines six weeks ago.

That feeling is over now.

“We were kind of into a homestretch maybe things were going to get better,” said Dewar, a Nanaimo resident whose husband, Rob, resides at Eden Gardens.

“But now because I don’t even know the efficacy of the vaccine, I’m worried, are we starting this journey all over again.”

Over the weekend, an outbreak of COVID-19 was declared at the Eden Gardens care home in Nanaimo after a staff member and a resident tested positive for the virus.

Now families like the Dewar’s and Jeanette Harper, whose mom Marguerite lives in Eden Gardens wait for updates.

They tell CHEK News, they wonder if the staff member who brought it into the facility chose to be vaccinated and if the first shot their loved ones received will be enough to protect them.

“I worry about that one person that has tested positive and hope that that person didn’t have a lot of contact with a lot of people,” said Harper.

Nanaimo’s Wexford Creek long-term care, is also under a COVID-19 outbreak after a staff member tested positive. Island Health, won’t reveal if the two staff were vaccinated, out of privacy concerns.

“You feel helpless, you really do,” said Harper.

“I do think it’s my business to know that the people who are caring for my husband have been vaccinated,” said Dewar.

On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said there are very few care homes where not all the staff members have received vaccinations.

“There’s very few, but there are a few care homes where not everybody, not all the staff are immunized and what we need to do is make sure we understand why and we give more people opportunities to receive the vaccine,” said Henry.

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Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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