Grande Prairie facilities under lockdown to combat COVID-19 outbreaks

Signature Support Services in Grande Prairie (Erica Fisher, MyGrandePrairieNow Staff)
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Two community care homes in Grande Prairie are under lockdown after Alberta Health confirmed outbreak scenarios have originated from their facilities. A total of 12 cases, including one death of a man in his 70s, have been linked to Signature Support Services, and three active cases have been linked to the Grande Spirit Foundation’s Heritage Lodge.

Though he did not disclose the location of the outbreak for the safety and privacy of residents and employees, Executive Director of Signature Support Services Darrin Stubbs says the outbreak was isolated to one home.

“Right now it’s one facility, but right now there are staff who live together and things like that and who work at other stuff so we’re doing a lot of contact tracing right now,” he says. “Right now every home is in a bubble so that staff can only work in those homes; they can’t be working anywhere else.”

Stubbs adds that a big concern for his organization is the difficulty planning due to wait times of up to five business days to receive COVID-19 test results. He says in the downtime between waves of results the team is doing its best to follow provincial guidelines and maintain quarantine efforts.

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“We’re doing our best to contain it and keep everybody in their own bubble as best as we can. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to get more positive cases going forward, but we believe we’re on top of it and it’s going to start dropping,” he says.

Stubbs is optimistic that Signature Support Services will no longer be classified as having an outbreak by Monday, August 31st.

Steve Madden, general manager of the Grande Spirit Foundation, says of the cases linked to the Heritage Lodge, two were staff members that aren’t employed by the foundation, and one was a resident who was moved from the lodge to a hospital.

“At this point, we are unaware of anybody in the facility with COVID-19; we just know there are cases connected to it,” he says. “What we do know is [the infected] person had other health-related items [and] went to the hospital. Somewhere in there, a test was performed but we’re not sure [of] her current status at this point.”

Madden adds everyone in the facility has received testing for COVID-19 and are awaiting results to return.

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