Five more residents have died of COVID-19 in Richmond’s two long-term care facility outbreaks over the past week (Jan. 13 to Jan. 20), according to the latest data from B.C.'s Ministry of Health.
On Thursday (Jan. 21), the province released its weekly report on COVID-19 cases and deaths in individual long-term care home outbreaks. Data in the report is current as of 10 a.m. on Jan. 20.
At Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge – where an outbreak was first declared on Dec. 12 – one more resident has died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 7.
In total, 41 people at the facility have been infected, including 27 residents and 14 staff. Over the past three weekly reports – Jan. 7, Jan. 13 and Jan. 21 – case numbers have remained the same at Fraserview.
An outbreak is only considered over if two incubation periods – 28 days – have passed since a case was last reported at a facility, the report notes.
Meanwhile, at Minoru Residence, four more residents have died, according to the report, bringing the total number of deaths to 11.
An outbreak was first declared in the 1 East unit of Minoru on Dec. 21. Then, on Dec. 27, an outbreak was declared in the 3 West unit. Since Dec. 31, the entire facility has been under outbreak protocol.
Since Dec. 21, 74 people have been infected at Minoru, including 64 residents (up 3 from last week’s report) and 10 staff (up one from last week).
Rapid testing deployed
Rapid tests are being used as part of the outbreak response at Minoru, Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed to the Richmond News. However, they are not currently being used at Fraserview.
“Every outbreak and facility is unique and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis,” VCH said in an emailed statement.
“Some considerations for rapid testing include available staffing resources to conduct the tests during an outbreak and the space required to house the rapid testing lab.”
A relative of a Minoru resident, who asked to remain anonymous out of concern for their family member in care, told the News they were concerned that rapid testing was not mandatory for staff at the facility.
“They have the system in place but it’s not even implemented, so it kind of defeats the purpose,” they said.
“It’s quite frankly disappointing, because what’s the point of putting something in place when it’s not being enforced?”
The relative said they would like to see the rapid testing be made mandatory for all staff before they start their shifts.
VCH told the News that “all medical procedures including rapid testing require consent.”
However, the health authority added that “staff are strongly encouraged” to undergo rapid testing.