'Critical lessons': Family of Calgary woman who died of COVID-19 wants care homes to do more
CALGARY -- Another resident of a southeast Calgary seniors’ home has died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government reported Tuesday.
Twelve people from the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre have now died of the virus, and at least 91 residents and staff members have tested positive for coronavirus, with 130 total in continuing care homes across the province. Alberta’s total amount of deaths related to COVID-19 sits at 26.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer, ordered more restrictions on visitors at continuing care homes to try to mitigate the spread of the virus to the people who are at “extreme risk” if infected.
Family members of a woman who died of the virus at the McKenzie Towne care home joined the provincial opposition Tuesday in calling for more measures to protect workers at seniors’ homes and the people they care for.
“Management and the Alberta government as a governing body needs to act early and ensure there’s adequate resources — both Human Resources and equipment,” said Renee Laboucane.
“Communication is paramount in any crisis. Family members are fearful for the loved ones who are locked inside.”
Laboucane’s 81-year-old mother Doreen Gauvreau was living at the McKenzie Towne care centre and contracted COVID-19 last week. She died on Monday.
“I would say overwhelming, heartbreaking, frustrating... those pretty much sum up what’s been going on on our side,” Laboucane said in an interview from Nanaimo, BC.
The NDP says the government should provide extra hazard pay to care home workers and ensure adequate personal protective equipment is available.
“It is clear McKenzie Towne was not prepared for the loss of staff at their facility,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley.
“It is the responsibility of the provincial government to make sure it doesn’t happen again and take aggressive measures to prevent it.”
The company that operates the McKenzie Towne care home said Monday it was hiring additional staff because 85 of its employees are at home in isolation.
Revera Living said an additional 20 staff members were hired to work at the McKenzie Towne complex in the last week