Reported Covid-19 Outbreaks in Vegreville Facilities

Reported Covid-19 Outbreaks in Vegreville Facilities

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

It’s one thing to hear about Covid-19 in seniors’ facilities on the news, but it’s another to have an outbreak in your community.

That was part of the sentiment Vegreville Town Councillor Ann Waters expressed during her report at the January 25 regular town council meeting.

Coun. Waters said the staff at Homestead Lodge have been “fantastic” as there’s been a lot going on at the facility. The Covid-19 outbreak was declared on December 22 and it is still an outbreak, but she noted that residents have been able to leave their rooms as of January 11.

Waters said residents have to wear face masks and follow proper protocols in common areas and programs have been paused until the first week in February. One resident was very ill, but is confirmed to be okay now.

She went on to say, “Most residents had mild symptoms, but were ill. It’s very unfortunate to have that, and Covid I know we see it on the news and everything that’s happening in seniors’ facilities. It’s very sad. But when it happens at home it hits home, and it’s a struggle.”

Staff had to take on additional duties with meals and caretaking, and changing personal protective equipment and gowns between every resident’s room. “That’s 400 gowns per day, so that’s a lot. Hopefully, some normalcy will be coming soon and the residents can breathe a little easier. But again, my hats go off to everybody there.”

A Covid-19 outbreak had also been declared at the VALID Association. “Thankfully, no significant outcomes occurred,” stated Executive Director Lana Syms. She said the outbreak was deemed to be on January 14.

“Valid continues to take every precaution to ensure the safety of all our individuals and staff as we navigate these challenging times,” added Syms.

Councillor Dave Berry, who is a new member of the St. Joseph’s General Hospital Community Board, reported that the Covid-10 outbreak at the hospital was contained to eight patients and is now considered to be over even though it has not been taken off the outbreak list on the Alberta Covid-19 website.

Berry commended staff, who he said had to work with a very difficult situation. “They contained it. It was a very small outbreak. It’s minimized now.”