COVID-19 case confirmed at Tsawaayuus Rainbow Gardens long-term care home

Denise Titian, November 17, 2020

Rainbow Gardens is a not-for-profit facility operated by the WestCoast Native Health Care Society, with 44 long-term care beds, 10 assisted living units and 20 senior’s affordable housing units. (Eric Plummer photo) 

Port Alberni, BC — 

One staff member at Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) has tested positive for COVID-19, Island Health stated in a media release dated Nov. 17.

“Island Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) long-term care home located in Port Alberni,” reads the statement.

Rainbow Gardens is a not-for-profit facility operated by the WestCoast Native Health Care Society. Opened in 1992 with 30 long-term care beds it has since expanded to include 14 more long-term care beds, ten assisted living units and 20 senior’s affordable housing units. It is home to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous senior citizens.

Island Health says no residents at the facility are experiencing symptoms and communications with residents and their families is underway. The staff member that tested positive is self-isolating at home. The entire site is closed to admissions, transfers and visitors.

In a notice to families, Tsawaayuus says it is working in partnership with Island Health and the Ministry of Health to implement safety and preventative measures for COVID-19.

“Our priority is to protect our residents and staff based on current recommendations,” reads the notice. It goes on to say that they are making changes to provide the best possible care to their residents.

“At this time, only essential visits are allowed (for residents who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care),” states the Tsawaayuus website. Cleaning and infection control measures have been enhanced while staff and residents will be screened twice a day.

Eligible visitors must pass screening criteria and visits are limited to one visitor per resident. Children and youth who are school aged and younger are asked not to visit at this time. Family members are asked to refrain from sending food and gifts to Tsawaayuus as an added protection measure.

Island Health has worked with Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) leadership and staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed and is taking steps to protect the health of all residents, staff and families, said the health authority.