OPINION: Delta View shows how to stick it to the virus

The Delta View Care Centre is, quite literally, living proof that COVID-19 suppression measures work.

Back on Saturday, March 21, Fraser Health issued a press release to advise that a worker at the East Delta care home had tested positive for the virus. This news came on the heels of outbreaks at care homes on the North Shore and in Vancouver, facilities where COVID-19 had already begun taking a considerable toll on elderly residents.

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Delta View is a 296-bed facility so it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the same scenario started unfolding there, a grim daily tally of both infected cases and deaths becoming the new normal during this pandemic.

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s press conference two days later didn’t announce another case at Delta View; the total didn’t budge the next day either. We wondered, and worried, if a spike was still ahead, that once test results came back there would be a significant jump in cases like we’d seen at other care homes. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened as there’s still only one confirmed case at Delta View more than two weeks later.

Not only is that great news for residents, staff and families at the Burns Drive care home, but it’s proof that putting measures in place to stem the spread of the virus are absolutely critical during this unprecedented time. You only have to look at what transpired at those initial care homes before safeguards were introduced and what’s taking place – or more precisely what isn’t -- at other facilities to understand how these actions are literally saving lives.

Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer has pointed to everything from cleaning protocols to visitor restrictions to ensuring workers don’t move between facilities as steps that have reduced the risk of infections and quickly quelled any outbreaks that have occurred. They’re rather simple, straightforward measures but they’ve had a dramatic effect in stemming the spread and limiting the number of fatalities.

Move the issue out of care homes and into the general population and it’s equally simple actions – things like hand washing, social distancing and limiting trips in public – that are going to pay huge dividends. That’s presuming, of course, we all do our part.

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