Keeping COVID out of care homes if residents leave for appointments

CALGARY — Marianne Jaromi’s father lives at Carewest George Boyack, where there’s been a COVID-19 outbreak since October.

Like so many families with loved ones in long-term care homes or assisted living facilities it has been an extremely stressful time.

“They are isolating them in their rooms, they’re bringing in meal trays but my dad says it feels like jail,” said Jaromi.

There are 37 cases of COVID-19 linked to the facility. While the majority have recovered, several cases remain active and five people have died.

Jaromi’s dad has not tested positive for the virus and she’s doing whatever is possible to keep it that way. That includes speaking publicly to make sure protocols are in place for residents who travel outside of a facility for care, then return.

“Family members of these residents need to be reassured that those residents who are going for hospital treatment are separated from their roommates so they’re not accidentally contaminating them, she said.

Jaromi was concerned that would happen when her 84-year-old dad’s former roommate was leaving for dialysis several times a week.

Spokesperson for AHS tells CTV News it can’t speak to the specific situation but says every resident who leaves for a medical appointment is “screened upon return and their level of risk assessed.”

There is also the potential for the resident to be asked to “continuously wear a mask for 14 days or to quarantine” depending on the “risk of exposure.”

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