Elders at Embassy West recover from COVID-19

There are no longer any COVID-19 cases among elders in long-term care in Nunavut, health minister says

Eight Nunavut elders who contracted COVID-19 while staying at the Embassy West long-term care home in Ottawa, seen here, have now recovered, says Nunavut Health Minister John Main. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

All eight elders with confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Ottawa’s Embassy West Senior Living long-term care facility have recovered.

Health Minister John Main provided the update during the Nunavut government’s Tuesday COVID-19 news conference.

Two family members in Ottawa and four Nunavut caregivers travelled south to work alongside Embassy West staff to help look after the elders, Main said.

Another caregiver from the territory will be arriving later this week.

Main first announced on Jan. 5 that five elders had contracted COVID-19, saying that the outbreak was Embassy West’s first, and a major concern for the Health Department. On Jan. 11, that number grew to eight, but by then one elder had recovered.

The elders were asymptomatic and doing well, said Selma Basic, director of operations at Embassy West, on Jan. 11.

Despite the increasing number of cases across the territory, Main said elders in long-term care homes were managing to stay safe from the disease.

Six employees at Arviat’s Andy Aulatjut Elders Centre tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month, but there remains no active cases among the elders and no additional cases among staff, Main said.

The home has been given N95 masks, visors and surgical masks and has adequate staffing, he said.

Two staff members at Gjoa Haven Continuing Care Centre tested positive on Jan. 13, but the residents remain safe.

“So far, none of the nine elders at the centre have tested positive and have not shown [any] sign of symptoms,” he said, adding that the Health Department will continue to test and monitor the elders.

The Nunavut government reported a total of 177 COVID-19 cases across the territory on Tuesday. But, since the territory is rationing testing, the actual number of COVID-19 infections is “certainly higher,” said Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson.

“It’s hard to accurately estimate the magnitude of the difference,” he said.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Valued elders on

    It’s funny that elders from Nunavut is even having to live in Ottawa in the first place. Yes, they could get infected with covid , north south east west, but for all the emphasis put on elders in Inuit culture, and there are elders living in another culture, in a big city, so far from their love ones and community. The next time you hear respect for elders, just think of the ones living in Ottawa away from the ones talking about respect.

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