UPDATED: COVID-19 deaths climb to 16 at Lower Mainland long-term care home

UPDATED: COVID-19 deaths climb to 16 at Lower Mainland long-term care home

A COVID-19 outbreak in the dementia unit at Langley Lodge continues to claim lives

The number of COVID deaths at Langley Lodge seniors care home climbed to 14 yesterday, and two more reported overnight.

According to an update from the centre’s chief executive officer, the number of dead has risen to 16.

READ MORE: Resident’s daughter raises transparency concern as deaths at Langley Lodge rise to 11

This is the second largest outbreak in a long-term care facility in B.C. The other occurred in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre and started in March. That outbreak end with 76 people, including 52 elderly residents and 26 staff at the care home being diagnosed with COVID. Twenty of the residents died.

In the latest report from Langley Lodge issued late this morning, there were now 21 active cases among residents, eight among staff, and zero new cases, with still six recovered.

“There have been more deaths since yesterday (May 20); sadly, three of our residents who were positive for COVID-19,” the Lodge’s CEO Debra Hauptman posted online yesterday.

“Our staff are saddened by the loss of these residents and we extend our sincere condolences to the families. We acknowledge the challenging time we are in and the impact of this loss on the families of our residents,” she added.

The Lodge received news Wednesday that a healthcare worker from FHA, who came to assist with the outbreak, tested positive for COVID-19. The healthcare worker worked on a unit where they have not had any cases to date.

And while the worker wore wearing personal protective equipment and had minimal contact with residents, the Lodge has had to upgrade outbreak measures, including confining residents to their rooms.

All residents and families have been informed of “the unfortunate development” by the CEO and medical director Dr. Mitchell Fagan.

“We will be monitoring the residents closely and we hope to get through this latest development without any further cases,” Hauptman said in her online update.

The virus was introduced into their dementia unit by an infected worker on April 27.

“There are 26 frail elderly residents in this unit who also have advanced dementia. Due to their cognitive impairment these residents are not able to understand social distancing to prevent the spread of infection. Normally, residents with advanced dementia are very mobile, actively touching surfaces in their unit,” she said.

“This situation presented a unique set of challenges for infection control, combined with a highly contagious strain of this virus introduced into a high-risk population,” Hauptman said.

She’s often being asked if there is anything that they need.

“All of us in Langley Lodge are very appreciative of the kind messages that families have been sending to us. Our staff are working tremendously hard under difficult circumstances to care for loved ones. Please continue to support our staff with your messages of encouragement and compassion. And to quote Dr. Bonnie Henry, ‘be kind, be calm, and be safe’,” Hauptman concluded.

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