KinVillage board and management are feeling a sense of relief and gratitude following Fraser Health declaring a COVID-19 outbreak in South Court over on Oct. 16.
CEO Donna Ellis said the outbreak was very difficult for everyone involved – residents, their families and staff.
“We are grateful that the outbreak was well-contained and that very few cases were identified,” said Ellis. “This was possible due to the contributions of many – the extraordinary efforts of our staff, the cooperation of residents, the understanding of families, and the support of Fraser Health.”
KinVillage South Court is home to 68 assisted living residents and 11 independent living tenants.
The outbreak was declared by Fraser Health Sept. 3, after a staff member tested positive. During the outbreak a total of four people were infected and sadly, one resident died.
One resident remains in hospital, the other resident and the staff member have recovered. The outbreak was declared over by Fraser Health’s Medical Health Officer 28 days after the last new case was identified and six weeks after the outbreak was initially declared.
Ellis said that the key to concluding the outbreak relatively quickly was maintaining focus on the collective priority to ensure the safety of residents and staff.
“Several significant infection control practices were taken promptly and diligently sustained through the course of the outbreak,” she said. “In addition to the well-known measures of physically distancing, frequent hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and appropriate use of PPE (including droplet precautions with any resident who may have been exposed to the virus), a key step in controlling the outbreak was the immediate action to stop all dining and group activities in common areas and isolating residents in their suites as soon as we became aware that a staff member had tested positive, before the outbreak was declared by Fraser Health.”
Another key was frequent monitoring of residents and staff for symptoms and, testing of all staff and most residents in the building as directed by Public Health. Restricting where staff worked was also critical; as a result of the single site order, only staff designated to South Court can work in the building and, when infections were confirmed on specific floors, specific staff were assigned to work only on those floors.
Ellis acknowledges the remarkable support from Fraser Health.
“The infection prevention specialists, outbreak coordination, on-site education and provision of additional staff were instrumental in helping us manage and now conclude the outbreak,” she said.
Board president Dennis DesLauriers added, “Our deepest admiration and thanks to our dedicated staff and management for their remarkable efforts throughout this unprecedented pandemic. They faced this challenge with bravery, skill and compassion.”
Both also thanked residents, families and the larger South Delta community for all the encouraging words and actions that lifted spirits during the outbreak.
“Although some restrictions and preventative measures necessarily remain in place post-outbreak, it’s so heartwarming to see residents out of their suites and engaging with their neighbours once again,” added Ellis.