Two residents at a Steveston seniors facility have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Richmond News got confirmation Thursday with non-profit SUCCESS – which runs the Austin Harris Residence at Moncton Street and Trites Road – that two of its residents had been confirmed as having the virus.
One is in Richmond Hospital and the other is "fully recovered" and in isolation at the facility, explained the organization's CEO, Queenie Choo. She added, she wasn’t able to provide details regarding the residents' age or gender due to privacy reasons.
A Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) letter to residents and their families – obtained by the News – states there is a “small number of residents” diagnosed with the virus.
“These residents are currently under self-isolation and are being monitored by staff,” the letter reads.
“We are working with Austin-Harris to identify if anyone else may have been exposed and have dispatched additional resources to the facility to help provide on-site infection control support and education for staff.
“We are also working with our partners in infection control to ensure appropriate precautions are in place for the safety of residents, their families and health care providers.”
The risk of exposure, adds VCH, to other residents “remains low.”
“Residents without symptoms should self-monitor. Testing is not recommended for people who have no symptoms or for those with mild symptoms. If you or your loved one develops symptoms, you should isolate yourself immediately for a period of 10 days.”
Choo added that all care workers at the 50-unit, independent-living facility are wearing face shields, and other protective equipment, before entering “the resident’s room.”
“I want to say they are the true heroes of our community (who) work for us and care for us,” said Choo.
All residents at Austin Harris live in their own units, with care workers providing meal delivery, cleaning and prescription reminders.
As of March 23, the last time Richmond’s top medical health officer updated city council, there were only 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 1,066 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 25 deaths.
Of the 1,066 people with the virus in the province, 142 are in hospital, 67 in intensive care and 606 have recovered.
There are now 21 long-term care homes with at least one case of the COVID-19 infection, either in a resident or staff member.
Globally, as of Thursday lunchtime, there were 1,007,793 confirmed cases of the disease, resulting in 52,611 deaths, most of which have been in the U.S., Italy, Spain and China, where the virus first surfaced late last year.
More than 210,000 people across the world have fully recovered.