Families of residents at East Cumberland Lodge in Pugwash, N.S., say they’re worried and concerned as an outbreak of COVID-19 at the long-term care home grows.
On Thursday, it was confirmed another resident at the home had tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number to 21 since Monday. The province previously said two staff members had also tested positive.
Frederick Charles Hawker, 99, has lived at the facility for the past five years. So far, he’s not one of the residents who has tested positive, but his nephew is anxious.
“The first thing you think of is your family member that’s there,” said Angus Cameron.
“They’re keeping the residents isolated so they’re not mingling together.”
Aggressive testing is underway to detect and contain further spread. All residents and staff are being tested every 72 hours.
According to a Facebook post from the facility, 100 per cent of their residents and 96 per cent of their staff are vaccinated.
“A sincere thank you to our East Cumberland Lodge community. Your acts of kindness shown to us have been heartfelt and we want to express our gratitude,” the post reads in part.
The facility is currently closed to visitors and regularly-scheduled activities for residents are cancelled.
Local MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin wants asymptomatic testing options to be expanded in Cumberland County.
COVID-19 outbreak at Pugwash long-term care home linked to faith-based gathering
“Testing is only available in Amherst if someone doesn’t have access to transportation — they’re not going to be able to get there,” she explained.
“So, I’ve asked for rapid testing and PCR testing to be brought to the village of Pugwash as soon as possible.”
Nova Scotia Health says testing resources have been focused on the Western Zone, where COVID-19 activity is more significant.
Public Health says there is ongoing community spread in Cumberland County, along with ongoing transmission from faith-based gatherings, that are causing secondary transmission at workplaces and East Cumberland Lodge.
Cameron understands the situation is difficult and fluid, especially for the staff who work at the facility.
“It’s an unseen thing, the COVID virus. You have no idea where it is and who may have it,” said Cameron.
“All you can do is take all the precautions that are available and I’m pretty sure that that’s what’s going on here.”
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