Marta Lovika visits her husband Retired Lieutenant Commander, David Atkinson, through the window at Oyster Harbour (Submitted photo)

Oyster Harbour adapts to keep residents safe and connected during COVID-19

The ban on visitors has been the hardest adjustment for residents

Across the nation, and across the world, long-term care facilities for seniors have been some of the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. At Ladysmith’s Oyster Harbour, (formerly known as the Lodge on 4th), there have been no reported cases of COVID-19, and the staff intend to keep it that way.

“We’re following the B.C. provincial orders,” Oyster Harbour manager, Tracey McKee said.

“No visitors are coming into the facility. We do daily screening of the residents, and staff when they enter and exit the building. We change our clothes, we wash our hands many times in a day, we wear masks with all direct patient care, and we have extra cleaning in place for all our high touch point areas.”

Of all the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ban on visitors has been the most difficult for Oyster Harbour residents.

“Residents want to see their loved ones, and their families want to see them too,” McKee said.

To combat the loneliness imposed by visitor restrictions, Oyster Harbour recreation coordinator, Angelina Passarelli has worked to set up phone calls, face time visits, and even window visits for some residents and their loved ones.

“We’re adapting to fit the individual needs and abilities of the residents, and we’re adapting to the current climate,” Passarelli said.

Normally Oyster Harbour is bustling with volunteers, visitors, and group activities. With all that off the table for the duration of the pandemic, staff have worked to find creative solutions to give residents the comfort and care they’re accustomed to. Passarelli said that staff are working to make residents feel safe, and feel loved.

“Safety is our top focus. And connection – whatever that looks like, in the safest way possible,” she said. “It’s really getting to know each resident, and finding ways to make their days better.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local handyman crafts emergency float from recycled materials

Pieter Stegeman built Air-Float-One to keep himself busy during the pandemic

Tent Island closed due to neglect and abuse from campers

Illegal campfires common on Penelakut Tribe reserve land

Investigators still hoping to solve 2015 Brown homicide case

Tips being sought into Penelakut Island woman’s death five years ago

‘He has a home’, the tale of Ladysmith’s Turf Kitty

Chewy, also known as ‘Turf Kitty’, is a popular presence at Forrest Field

Downtown Ladysmith vehicle fire quickly extinguished

LFR Lieutenant Matt Rickett said that everyone involved responded exactly how they were supposed to

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read