Headline News By Ted Raymond 257 Views

COVID-19 outbreak at Valley Stream Retirement Residence claims four lives

OTTAWA -- As COVID-19 vaccines are delivered to local long-term care homes, one Ottawa retirement home is battling an outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of four residents.

The Valley Stream retirement home on Valley Stream Drive in Nepean has, to date, seen 46 residents and 27 staff members test positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 2.

Revera runs the home.

In a statement dated Jan. 14, the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Rhonda Collins, said COVID-19 protocols are in place to help limit the spread.

"Residents are isolated in their rooms and monitored for symptoms twice daily. All staff are screened at the beginning and end of their shifts and are required to wear a surgical mask and eye protection in the residence at all times," Dr. Collins said. "We are doing enhanced cleaning at Valley Stream, disinfecting high touch surfaces like handrails and doors, resident rooms, common areas and staff rooms frequently."

Non-essential visits to the home have been cancelled.

A spokesperson for Revera told CTV News on Sunday that Valley Stream is awaiting confirmation from Ottawa Public Health of a date for residents to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and staff have been preparing the informed consents required.

On Friday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said mobile vaccination teams had visited all 28 long-term care homes in Ottawa to deliver first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and focus would soon turn to the city's high-risk retirement homes. However, with recent news that Pfizer is temporarily cutting shipments of its vaccine to Canada in half, it remains unclear how many doses will be available in Ottawa in the coming weeks.

"We would normally get about 5,800 to 6,000 doses on Tuesday. We don't know what we're going to get and that will determine how many more arms we can put the vaccine in, because of course the next round goes to the retirement homes," Watson told CTV News at Six on Saturday

According to Ottawa Public Health, there are 10 active COVID-19 outbreaks in local retirement homes and 13 in long-term care homes as of Jan. 16, accounting for 244 total cases of COVID-19 in residents and staff and 10 resident deaths.

Revera was named in a $50 million class action lawsuit in April 2020 that alleged the company failed to keep residents safe from COVID-19. The suit was brought forth "on behalf of all persons who have lived, or are currently living, at one of the Revera retirement living residences in Ontario," according to a press release. The suit was later expanded to also include another long-term care industry giant, Sienna Senior Living.

A response from Revera at the time said, "We are currently reviewing the class action lawsuit and will respond in due course, however, we will not let it distract us from our singular focus at this time, which is to prevent further illness and loss of life."

The allegations have not been proven in court.