A long-term care facility in Port Coquitlam is now under a COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Fraser Health, four cases of the virus have been detected at Hawthorne Lodge (2111 Hawthorne Ave.) as of today (Dec. 31) including one resident and three staff members.
All residents and staff are now self-isolating in their own homes, while Fraser Health adds enhanced control measures are now in place to prevent any potential spread of the virus.
"Fraser Health is also working with the site to identify anyone who may have been exposed, and is taking steps to protect the health of all staff, residents and families," the authority states in a news release to the Tri-City News.
This is the third known outbreak of COVID-19 at the Hawthorne Seniors Care Community and the first in over a year.
Four residents at the PoCo property have died due to complications with the virus, two during each of the previous declarations, along with 44 total infections.
Between Oct. 29 and Dec. 2, 2020, 34 cases were found in Tower One with 25 residents and nine staff.
In Tower Two, 10 detected cases between Nov. 3 and Dec. 9, 2020, included five residents and five staff members.
Measures now in place at Hawthorne Lodge — owned and operated by the Port Coquitlam Seniors Citizens' Housing Society — include:
- Staffing levels are being supported to maintain resident care
- Social visits are restricted in the affected areas of the facility. Essential visits can continue
- Staff and residents movement in the affected areas of the facility has been modified to minimize exposure to others
- Cleaning and infection control measures have been further enhanced
- Residents, families and staff are being notified
- Twice a day screening of all staff and residents is taking place
- Additional testing and screening is in place to support monitoring of disease control
The alert comes more than a month after the Tri-City region's last outbreak at Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam.
It was declared over on Nov. 26 — one resident died from complications with COVID-19 among 19 residents and two staff that tested positive over the 16-day outbreak.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 10 Tri-City long-term and assisted living centres have endured outbreaks.
Meanwhile, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced today that beginning Saturday, only essential visitors will be allowed to enter long-term care homes to visit residents.
She said she hopes to have the restriction in place for as short a term as possible, and she'll reevaluate the measure, along with a number of other restrictions, on Jan. 18, 2022.
Additionally, she announced that vaccinated B.C. residents who test positive for COVID-19 will now be required to isolate for five days, instead of 10. Those who've isolated for five days will be required to wear masks for the next five days while around others, while also avoiding gatherings.
As of this publication, 71 per cent of eligible Tri-City residents aged 70 and older have received a booster vaccine dose against COVID-19 — 32 per cent among those above age 50.
Those aged 12 and up account for a double-vaccination average of 91 per cent and 93 per cent for single doses.
Dr. Henry also announced a new rollout of booster shots against the virus on an "interval-based" system instead of age.
- with a file from Elana Shepert, Vancouver Is Awesome