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The Brenda Strafford Foundation, and the continuing care industry as a whole, is facing unprecedented challenging times in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Continuing care centres across the country have, unfortunately, become the epicentre for the tragic impact of COVID-19 around the world, and within Canada.
There are currently over 800 care centres in Canada in some form of outbreak. Sadly, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, three quarters of all COVID-19 related deaths in Canada have occurred in continuing care.
In Alberta, there are now in excess of 450 positive cases of COVID-19 in residents and staff in continuing care, with many continuing care centres throughout Alberta now in outbreak, including approximately 30 within the Calgary zone.
Three of our four sites throughout Calgary and Okotoks are currently affected by an outbreak. As follows is an update on the situation across The Brenda Strafford Foundation sites as at today (April 29, 2020). A reminder that the number of confirmed cases at our sites is published on our website on a daily basis Monday-Friday (available at: theBSF.ca/covid19).
The Foundation’s first outbreak was declared at Clifton Manor on April 8 (approximately three weeks ago). Clifton Manor is also the site affected by the most significant outbreak within The Foundation, with a total of 42 confirmed positive cases (including 26 Residents and 16 Staff). All positive resident cases have come from residents located within the same unit, indicating the outbreak has been contained within the unit, and not spread to other areas within the site.
We are extremely saddened that seven residents at Clifton Manor have passed away due to COVID-19 (these deaths have occurred within the period of April 17-26). We extend our most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of these residents, and to all those that knew them. These residents will be missed, and remembered.
Currently, there are three residents who have been transferred to hospital, and nine residents who remain receiving treatment and care within Clifton Manor at this time.
We are heartened that seven residents have now been declared as recovered from COVID-19 at Clifton Manor.
Of the 16 positive cases in employees, eight are BSF care staff and eight are Aramark kitchen staff. Six of the positive cases in employees have recovered and returned to work, while 10 of the positive staff cases remain on self-isolation. Numerous staff members identified to self-isolate due to contact tracing in the initial cases, who have remained symptom-free during the required self-isolation period, have now returned to work.
Bow View Manor’s outbreak was first declared approximately two weeks ago and has been restricted to positive cases identified in three nursing staff members.
The first two employees confirmed to have positive cases of COVID-19 approximately two weeks ago are now considered recovered (they both remain in self-isolation at this time due to family members within their household that remain unwell, requiring extended isolation periods for these staff members). All staff members who were identified to self-isolate due to contact tracing in the initial cases, who have remained symptom-free during the required self-isolation period, have now returned to work.
The most recent positive case in a staff member has just been confirmed this week and is the result of a member within their household who tested positive in connection to the Cargill outbreak. All three affected staff members are all believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 through community transmission outside of the work place (there is no evidence of staff-staff transmission within the site).
To date, there have been no positives cases of COVID-19 in residents at Bow View Manor.
Tudor Manor’s outbreak was also first declared approximately two weeks ago, and has also been restricted to positive cases in staff members (including five BSF nursing staff and two Aramark kitchen staff). All seven of these positive cases in staff working at Tudor Manor have been through community transmission outside of the work place, and all seven are connected to the Cargill outbreak.
The first BSF staff member confirmed to have a positive case is now recovered and has returned to work, the remaining six staff members with confirmed positive cases are still self-isolating. Numerous staff who were identified to self-isolate for various reasons, due to contact tracing in the initial case or possible exposure in the community, and who have remained symptom-free during the required self-isolation period have now returned to work.
To date, there have been no positives cases of COVID-19 in residents at Tudor Manor.
The Foundation is pleased to report that after significant advocacy and coordination with Alberta Health Services, we have commenced testing of asymptomatic residents and staff in affected outbreak units. Residents and staff identified for asymptomatic testing have been notified or will be notified this week. The Foundation will provide an update with the results of this asymptomatic testing once the testing is completed and the results are received.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the continued dedication, compassion and responsiveness of all our employees and leadership at Clifton Manor, where the most significant outbreak has taken place, and throughout the entire Foundation during this challenging situation we are all facing. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing resilience, understanding and support of our residents and families throughout all of our sites, at this difficult time for everyone.
On behalf of The Foundation, I extend best wishes to every resident, family and staff member affected in any way by this virus. I assure you that The Brenda Strafford Foundation remains steadfastly focused on providing the best possible care and services to all of our residents and families. Thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding and support during this difficult time for us all.
Together, we remain BSF Strong!
President and CEO