The president of the company that manages the Manoir du Lac said it was a complete surprise.
“I had no advance warning that this was going to happen,” said Gene Zinyk, president of Integrated Life Care.
“We were following the protocol to the best of our ability. All residents were isolated in rooms, all activities were stopped, [were] there were no more social gatherings and meals were delivered to their rooms. “
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On Friday, 26 residents and 11 employees of the Manoir du Lac tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to officials. So far, five residents have died from the virus.
Zinyk admitted that a problem he was aware of before the announcement of the takeover of AHS was related to personnel. He said that normally there are 62 residents at the Manor and about 60 employees. However, with COVID-19 isolation, the center was operating with approximately one third of its normal staff.
“Recruitment was the biggest problem,” he said. “We had the problem of seeing more staff who were HIV positive, staff who now refused to come to work because of the fear of infection factor, and more residents were also becoming infected,” he said.
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“For the most part, we just want to cooperate with Alberta Health. Caring for residents is the most important thing right now. “
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AHS said it took over the site because there were not enough staff, staff working extremely long shifts, inadequate checks by staff and visitors, standards of care for residents not met and rules concerning personal protective equipment not observed.
“Starting today, residents of the Manoir du Lac will be screened daily, including temperature monitoring and symptom monitoring,” said an AHS statement on Friday.
“Residents with new respiratory symptoms will be isolated in their bedrooms and the staff caring for them will wear all recommended personal protective equipment. These measures are standard practice in all AHS continuing care facilities in Alberta. “
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said on Friday that “these steps are being taken to ensure residents receive the care they need.”
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Beelah Boman, whose father lives at Manoir du Lac, told Global News that she thought he was being looked after by staff.
“The times I was there, [staff] were wonderful, “said Boman. “The staff took care of the residents, they joked with the residents … They interacted with them with games and stuff. I saw a few staff members sitting in the residents’ rooms, sitting and chatting with them. “
However, she said that as the epidemic at the center increased, her family worried about their elderly patriarch.
“I know of a few staff members who were sent home because of a positive test or a virus test,” she said. “Some employees have several jobs, not just at the Manor. It had to happen. It’s not a good situation. Hopefully things will be taken care of. “
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Zinyk said he hopes the additional staff AHS will provide will give peace of mind to families who have a loved one at the center.
“It is difficult to understand that this will happen,” he said. “I think with COVID-19 in our mix the standards have to be a little higher and maybe we haven’t reached that level. “
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