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Is this Burnaby's worst COVID-19 outbreak? It's close

Harmony Court outbreak rivals what's happened at Burnaby Hospital
COVID-19 vaccine
A senior male is about to receive a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. - Photograph via Getty Images

A COVID-19 outbreak in Burnaby has grown into one of the city’s worst since the beginning of the pandemic.

AgeCare Harmony Court at 7197 Canada Way in Burnaby emailed families with the latest numbers on Nov. 18, with 122 total cases and 15 deaths as of 10 a.m. on Friday.

Harmony Court’s independent living section has had 20 residents test positive for COVID-19 to date. Four of these residents are currently in the hospital, says the update, which has been shared with the NOW. Three staff have also tested positive for COVID-19 to date.

Harmony’s Court’s care centre has had 70 residents testing positive for COVID-19 to date, with two of these residents currently in hospital and 29 staff members testing positive.

This outbreak rivals what has been seen in the past month at Burnaby Hospital, where more than 100 cases and at least 10 deaths have been reported.

“The team at AgeCare Harmony Court alongside Fraser Health are working tirelessly to contain this outbreak and support the safety and well-being of all residents and staff,” says an email to families. “We are operating under our outbreak protocols, monitoring the situation very closely, and meeting Fraser Health and Public Health daily.”

The following outbreak protocols remain in place at Harmony Court:

  • All Independent Living residents are on contact and droplet precautions. Our team will ensure that these residents are served meals in their rooms.
  • All Care Centre residents are on contact and droplet isolation precautions. Our team will ensure that these residents are served meals in their rooms and continue to have all their care needs provided for.
  • In the Care Centre, residents are being screened twice a day along with symptom checks. In addition, neighborhood huddles with the team are occurring twice per shift. The huddle's focus is to be proactive in identifying signs and symptoms and ensuring resident care needs are being met.
  • Social visits and group recreation activities for all residents are suspended. The recreation department is looking at how we can increase virtual visits and provide for socialization for residents.
  • There can be no visitation between Independent Living and the Care Centre residents, except essential and end-of-life visits.
  • All common spaces are closed; this includes the dining rooms and the coffee/tea station.
  • Essential appointments for Independent Living residents, such as medication assistance, can continue onsite as long as the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is used.
  • To reduce movement in the building, staff are designated to their sections of the community, Independent Living vs. Care Centre, except for a few key leadership roles.
  • Staff continue to practice physical distancing and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and Fraser Health Authority. As an extra precaution, the staff are also wearing eye protection or a face shield to wear with their surgical (medical) mask.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures to prevent the potential spread are in place.
  • All appointments that take residents outside the community are to be cancelled and rescheduled.
  • Staff will continue to be screened before every shift, self-screen during and at the end of their shift. They are required to report to their supervisor if they have any symptoms
  • Admissions and transfers are on hold.