Open Letter from the Lynn Valley Care Centre on COVID-19

Open Letter from the Lynn Valley Care Centre on COVID-19

NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Since the beginning of March, hundreds of healthcare facilities, businesses, and institutions across Canada, and thousands more around the world, have faced extreme challenges posed by COVID-19 outbreaks. Lynn Valley Care Centre (LVCC) was among them, but different for one key reason: we were unfortunate in being the first of these community outbreaks in Canada.Over the course of several weeks after March 1st, our Centre’s residents came to experience firsthand, the devastating power of COVID-19. Our Centre was home to the first of the 8,796 Canadians who have, so far, lost their lives to this disease. We continue to share our country’s grief for the friends and families of those who have died.COVID-19 changed everything for us. Over the course of 24 hours, our facility went from its regular industry-standard practices to a vastly altered series of safety measures and protocols. Virtually overnight, our staff found themselves at the vanguard of a movement that has swept through homes, businesses, and institutions across Canada and drastically altered everyone’s way of being, of working, and of living.LVCC was among the first facilities in Canada to successfully make this rapid transition. We are so very grateful to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) and all Canadian health authorities, for their guidance and support during that difficult period. LVCC has overcome COVID-19, and our facility today remains free of the dangerous virus. We commit to our residents, their families, and our staff that we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.We also want to share with our community, information about an added challenge we faced during those early days. At the height of the struggle to adapt to COVID-19, in the early hours of March 8, our staff received a phone call that appeared to originate from health authorities. The content of that call has since become evidence in an ongoing RCMP investigation, but what we can say about the call was that it deeply alarmed our staff. Based on the information relayed in that call, out of concern for the safety of our residents, we took immediate action.Over the course of the next day, we learned that the call was, in fact, a hoax. Unfortunately, a great deal of harm had already been done to our capacity to provide the high standard of care for which LVCC has come to be known. It caused needless fear among residents and their families. It created apprehension among our staff who, just like the majority of Canadians five months ago, knew little about the disease and its dangers, became reluctant to come to work. And it diverted valuable time and resources away from our capacity to work at a time when we faced the greatest challenge in our Centre’s history. That call kicked us while we were down, really down.Since this incident compromised the health and safety of LVCC residents and staff alike, we considered it to be extremely serious. We made a report to the North Vancouver RCMP, and, in the ensuing days and weeks, we cooperated fully with their investigation. We are thankful and pleased to share the news that the RCMP recently made an arrest in the case. Our LVCC family can rest a little easier now in that knowledge. We will continue to cooperate with the investigation and any requirements of the courts, should the need arise.Above all, each day we renew our commitment to provide the highest standard of care for our residents, to offer exceptional service to their families, and to ensure the health and safety of our staff. We are deeply thankful for their continued support, and for the positive impact, their support brings to LVCC residents and staff.For more information, contact: inquiries@nsph.ca

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