Five residents of a care home in Wilkie, Saskatchewan have died from COVID-19 and 24 of 26 residents contracted the disease, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
Global News has learned that six residents of Lakeview Pioneer Lodge in Wakaw are now deceased. All 44 residents were infected, along with 40 staff. The facility’s acting CEO said several other staff were showing symptoms and awaiting test results.
It’s a grim toll, especially for two small towns. About 1,100 people live in Wilkie and about 1,000 in Wakaw.
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“Of course there is anxiety, right? Wakaw Mayor Steven Skoworodko said of Zoom.
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“People are not sure what impact this will have on the community. And of course, they are worried about the effects of COVID-19. ”
David Ziegler, the mayor of Wilkie, said a neighbor was one of the five who died.
“I just hear on the news every day that there are deaths and cases in the province and … it’s about [the] nursing home here, it’s really close to home that we have an epidemic now, ”he said over the phone.
The two said they didn’t notice any changes in the behavior of residents, although they both used outbreaks to reinforce the fact that everyone should follow public health guidelines during the pandemic.
They also said the nursing homes housed members of many local families.
The effects of the outbreaks have spread to the community in other ways. SHA has sent health workers to both towns to help control the outbreaks and replace staff in isolation.
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New staff are staying in neighboring hotels.
The two mayors said the influx was a grim reminder of the severity of the outbreaks.
Skoworodko said it causes increased anxiety, although he is very grateful that they are there.
Wayne Nogier, acting CEO of the Wakaw home, said family members of residents have also come to the town to help loved ones.
“They come into that environment, recognizing that we have an active virus and wanting to work with their family members, focusing on hydration, hydration and nutrition,” said Wayne Nogier, speaking above. Zoom.
“These people are… they were exceptional.”
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He noted that SHA staff trained volunteers on how to protect themselves from the virus.
He also said the community has started donating ready meals, ranging from granola bars to individually wrapped sandwiches.
“We recognize that things like the deaths in our home, especially at the scale that we have seen them, are traumatic for all who live in the community because everyone is so intertwined,” he said. stated about Zoom.
Skoworodko said he hoped the help the city needed would come soon.
“I hope that the vaccinations will start to be rolled out to health workers and possibly the community in general. And that, I think, will allay a lot of fears and worries, ”he said.
In a statement, the SHA said it plans to ensure preparedness since the start of the pandemic. These efforts include ensuring that staff have sufficient personal protective equipment, advanced cleaning and specific outbreak protocols.
“We plan, make, study and act on all of these policies and procedures to see if there are ways to improve any of them,” the statement said, adding that improvements have been recorded and implemented. .
Wilkie is approximately 180 km west of Saskatoon and Wakaw is approximately 100 km northeast.
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