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COVID-19 outbreaks continue at 2 Abbotsford care homes

Tabor Home and Menno Home still battling the virus
Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Tabor Home in Abbotsford will hold several virtual townhall meetings for family members on Monday, Dec. 7 to address its COVID-19 outbreak.

The long-term care facility, owned and operated by Tabor Village, is the site of B.C.’s largest outbreak at a long-term care home since the pandemic began. As of Friday (Dec. 4), Tabor Home has had a total of 147 cases (89 residents and 58 staff) and 21 deaths (all residents) since Nov. 4.

There are still 90 active cases (70 residents and 20 staff).

Tabor Village executive director Dan Levitt said in his latest email update to families that the townhall meetings are being held “in an effort to further our transparency, openness and continually improve upon our communication.”

Four one-hour meetings, led by Levitt, will be held via Zoom to address each of the four units in Tabor Home. Families will attend the session related to which unit their loved one lives in.

“These townhall meetings will allow you to ask questions and express any concerns you may have,” Levitt said in his email.

He indicated that any concerns that families have related directly to their loved one should be discussed privately with staff at a different time in order to protect confidentiality.

Also at Tabor Home this week, workers from Langley Lodge visited the facility in a socially distanced show of support on Wednesday (Dec. 2) to deliver donuts and bottles of water. The workers also stood outside, held signs and cheered for the Tabor staff.

Langley Lodge lost 25 residents to the pandemic in the spring.

RELATED: Langley Lodge shows ‘solidarity’ by visiting staff of B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak

Meanwhile, a COVID-19 outbreak also continues at Abbotsford’s Menno Home, where 16 staff and 26 residents have tested positive.

The facility posted a request on Nov. 28 for family members to apply as paid “temporary relief workers” at the facility in the areas of housekeeping, food services and laundry.

RELATED: Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Karen Biggs, CEO of Menno Place (of which Menno Home is a part), said the support is needed due to staff shortages.

A posting on the Menno Place website on Thursday (Dec. 3) indicates that 50 family members have so far applied, and the first two began working that day.

But the move is not supported by everyone. A health-care worker at the facility who wrote to The News said she and other staff members are “let down and disappointed” that family members are being asked to help.

“We absolutely do not need family members in our building at this time. I can confidently say they will be no asset to us,” she wrote.

“Staff do not need extra bodies who don’t understand the proper protocols and policies in the building. What they do need is trained professionals.”

The worker said that Menno Home should instead be looking at hiring agency housekeepers and dietary staff.

Biggs previously told The Abbotsford News that any family members who are hired will receive the same orientation and training as staff, including on safety and work procedure protocols and infection-control measures.

Tabor Home and Menno Home are currently the only long-term care homes in Abbotsford with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Fraser Health reported this week that an outbreak at a third facility, the Cottage-Worthington Pavilion, has been declared over. It was reported on Nov. 18 that two staff members had tested positive there.

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak over at Abbotsford’s Cottage-Worthington Pavilion

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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