A staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 at a long-term care home that was site of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in British Columbia.
The latest COVID-19 outbreak at the Langley Lodge care home is the third since the pandemic began, reigniting fears at a facility where 26 residents lost their lives before the virus was snuffed out.
In a press release Friday evening, Fraser Health said the affected staff member is currently in self-isolation at home. The health authority said it has sent a rapid response team to the site to implement enhanced control measures and to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Fraser Health said it has restricted both visitors to the site and movement of staff and residents inside. Staff and residents are also now subject to twice-a-day screening.
The latest outbreak comes two weeks after a Glacier Media exclusive detailed a leaked report highlighting the missteps during Langley Lodge’s second outbreak.
The second and most deadly outbreak at Langley Lodge took off when the virus was introduced to a unit for people with dementia and other cognitive impairments, which would end up accounting for more than half of the 51 cases among residents, according to the facility’s internal report.
“Staff were not able to socially isolate residents from each other… due to wandering and advanced dementia,” wrote CEO of the Langley Care Society Debra Hauptman in the report. “There was a lack of clinical guidance on COVID-19 precautions with this population.”
Or Hauptman later put it to Glacier Media, the behavioural stabilization unit was the worst place to have an outbreak: “They do not understand social distancing, social isolation, staying in their rooms, not touching one another. That’s where I really appealed to the health authorities.”
Hauptman’s recommendation to remove COVID-19 patients from long-term care and house them in a standalone facility was later rejected by Fraser Health following Glacier Media’s reporting on the leaked document.
At the time, Hauptman said, “We’re very fearful of that happening in that unit again — and so are my colleagues.”