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Executive at Vancouver's Little Mountain care home resigns, after B.C.'s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak

Last Updated Feb 19, 2021 at 7:14 pm PST

Summary

The executive director of Little Mountain Place care home has resigned following B.C.'s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak

Angela Millar has been replaced by someone from Vancouver Coastal Health

Family of residents believe staff were pressured to work even when sick, worsening outbreak

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The executive director of Little Mountain Place has resigned after the care home became the site of B.C.’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak to date.

Angela Millar, who was in charge when 41 lives were lost at the privately run long-term care home, has been replaced by someone from Vancouver Coastal Health.

By the end of the outbreak, more than 85 per cent of residents had tested positive for COVID-19.

Susan Deyotte’s mother, who lived at the care home, died of the disease on Dec. 15, and still hasn’t been told what went wrong.

“I have not heard from Little Mountain since they asked me to come and pick up my mom’s things. And even that was a gong show. They said they couldn’t find my mom’s things. It was awful,” she said.

“Every time I went to go and talk to somebody, that person was then sick,” she added. “I just don’t think that they were looking after the residents — feeding them when they needed to be fed — because they were so short-staffed (and) didn’t have the people to help the residents the way they needed to be helped. And it was just so sad.”

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Bernadette Cheung, who lost her grandmother at Little Mountain in December, says she’s relieved new management is in place.

“[I’m] seeing it as acknowledgment of her role in how the outbreak was poorly managed,” she said. “If she had been more transparent and accountable from the outset, I don’t think it would have been such a bad experience for everybody.”

“I’m personally glad that she’s resigned and I feel like it’s, in a way, an admission of guilt, really,” Cheung added.

Other people who have lost a loved one at Little Mountain Place say they believe employees were pressured to keep showing up for work when they were sick.

Numerous investigations are currently underway and no blame has been assessed so far.

By the time the outbreak, which started Nov. 22, was declared over Jan. 29, 99 of the 114 residents had tested positive for the virus. So had 72 staff members.

Angie Martinez is stepping in as interim administrator at Little Mountain Place, starting Monday.