Active Langley Lodge outbreak marks record high COVID-19 death

Nursing home is situated in Fraser Health Authority region, which is presently experiencing the most COVID-19 cases among the five B.C. health authorities

Langley Lodge nursing home has become the deadliest single site for COVID-19 in B.C., joining the Lynn Valley Care Centre with 20 deaths each.

However, the Langley Lodge outbreak is not over, with four active cases, according to the facility’s website. Nine residents have died over the past five days.

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“Our staff continue to grieve the loss of these residents and we all extend our sincere condolences to families and friends,” the Lodge states.

Langley Lodge, which has 136 individual residential units, reports there have been 43 resident cases, with 19 recovered to date. It takes 10 days of no symptoms to be cleared. Two active cases were only recently reported. In addition, nine staff members, including two Fraser Health Authority employees, have been infected.

By comparison, Lynn Valley had 76 people, including 52 elderly residents and 26 staff, contract the virus.

In B.C., 155 people have died of COVID-19, the majority of them having lived in nursing homes. The median age of death is 85, with no one under age 47 having died of COVID-19 in B.C., according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

An infected worker introduced the virus to Langley Lodge’s dementia ward on April 27, the Lodge reported. Cases rose significantly 10-14 days after the first positive case.

The Lodge does not state what type of worker introduced the virus.

Healthcare workers have been limited to working at only one nursing home since March; however, Fraser Health acknowledges service contractors and some close family members may be visiting these sites and the virus continues to circulate in the community, said Dr. Martin Lavoie, chief medical health officer for Fraser Health.

“It’s not necessarily people going from one facility to another,” said Lavoie May 22, when asked why Metro Vancouver nursing homes continue to be affected despite heightened attention since March.

More aggressive mitigation methods have been undertaken, according to Langley Lodge.

“In order to manage this unfortunate development, we have undertaken the next level of infection outbreak protocols on the affected unit. In addition to being confined to their rooms and receiving tray service for meals, front line workers will be wearing full PPE when providing direct care. The unit has been disinfected, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will be continuing twice daily.”

Now, the outbreak is contained to the second and third floors of the facility.

“There are 26 frail elderly residents in this unit who also have advanced dementia,” noted the Lodge. “Due to their cognitive impairment these residents are not able to understand social distancing to prevent the spread of infection. Normally, residents with advanced dementia are very mobile, actively touching surfaces in their unit.”

Once the outbreak became apparent every resident was tested May 4, regardless of whether they were showing symptoms.

Fraser Health, encompassing the Lower Mainland east of Vancouver, New Westminster and Richmond, remains the hot spot for COVID-19 and accounts for 49% of total tested cases as of May 22. Its population is 1.8 million, so just 35% of the province. However, Vancouver Coastal Health has seen 86 deaths whereas Fraser Health has recorded 62, to date.

There are 267 active cases in Fraser Health to 179 in VCH, as of May 22.

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