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Still OK to visit loved ones in care homes: B.C. seniors advocate

Last Updated Mar 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm PDT

FILE - Lynn Valley Care Centre. (CityNews photo)

One way to reduce the spread of coronavirus is by minimizing physical contact, says Isobel Mackenzie

She also advises to just visit your loved ones

Make triple-sure to wash your hands: Mackenzie

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you’re healthy, you’re free to keep on visiting your relatives in B.C. care homes, according to the province’s seniors advocate.

“If you have no symptoms and you’re feeling fine, there’s no reason for you to stop visiting your loved ones,” seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie said amid concerns following the death of a man from COVID-19 at a Lynn Valley care home this week.

“But we need to also understand and appreciate that the care homes are people’s homes.”

Mackenze said one way to reduce the spread of coronavirus is by minimizing physical contact and only visiting care homes as an individual, rather than bringing the whole family along.

She also said to just focus on visiting your loved ones, while during such extraordinary times, limit going to see friends and others.

She further advised to exercise more caution than usual, making sure to wash your hands.

“Even if you are feeling well and you are going and visiting your loved one in a care home, make triple sure you are washing your hands with soap and water,” Mackenzie added.

A man in his 80s from the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver died Sunday in hospital, becoming the first coronavirus-related death in Canada.

Afterwards, the federal government is asking the provinces and territories for their plans to deal with COVID-19 ahead of a meeting on Friday between the premiers and the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Washington state governor Jay Inslee has issued a revised emergency proclamation, imposing restrictions on nursing home visitors due to this situation.

-with files from The Canadian Press