Iqaluit Elders’ Home residents transferred as staff isolates due to COVID-19 exposure

‘Once the outbreak is over and staffing permits, residents will be able to return,’ Health Department spokesperson says

Residents of Iqaluit’s elders’ home have been sent to other facilities because the home’s staff is in isolation due to exposure to COVID-19, Nunavut’s Health Department says. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Residents of the Iqaluit Elders’ Home were moved to other long-term care facilities over the weekend, because the home’s staff went into isolation due to exposure to COVID-19, says Nunavut’s Health Department.

“The facility has had to transfer six clients to other facilities to ensure continued quality care,” Chris Puglia, spokesperson for the Health Department, told Nunatsiaq News Sunday morning in a statement.

Four with more advanced needs are being transferred to the Embassy West Senior Living residence in Ottawa, he said.

The other two are being cared for elsewhere in the territory, he said.

“There is currently no estimate when the Elders’ Home in Iqaluit will be operational again,” Puglia said. “However, once the outbreak is over and staffing permits, residents will be able to return.”

Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson approved the transfers within territory, he said.

The residents who were transferred to another facility must complete a 14-day isolation, he said, while residents who chose to go back to their home community will also face a 14-day isolation at home, along with their family members.

The two residents who were transferred to Ottawa, travelled by charter flight Saturday night. The other two were to be transferred by charter on Sunday, Puglia said.

“Two of the clients going to Ottawa were scheduled to be transferred to Embassy West already because their needs required a change of facility,” he said.

PPE would be worn during all transfers “to ensure all are safe,” he said.

All of the residents involved in the transfer have been fully vaccinated, he said.

The decision to transfer the residents came as Iqaluit, which has been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak since mid-April, had a total of 74 active cases on Saturday.

Share This Story

(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by That’s f’d up. on

    I think if there was ANY sort of
    risk exposure and they need to stay in a elder’s home DO NOT send them to another one in nunavut!!!!

    • Posted by IQ Tester on

      For all of you local geniuses and instant keyboard experts out there, this is how it works.

      !. The elders home cannot function without staff to do nursing, cooking, cleaning and personal care work.

      2. One staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

      3. Therefore all other staff members are required to isolate for at least 14 days.

      4. The elders home cannot function without staff.

      5. Therefore the elders must be relocated to other facilities, because there is no staff left to look after them at the Iqaluit facility.

      Tukisivisi? Do you understand now?

  2. Posted by Brayden on

    How is there Covid in the long term homes when every employee has been offered their shots already?

    • Posted by Confused on

      That’s true, but what about the elders themselves, I thought they were the first to get vaccinated in Iqaluit? What went wrong here?

    • Posted by Alan Klie on

      As I understand it, the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting or passing on COVID-19, but it does prevent a severe onset of the illness. That being said, I’m not sure why the elders were transferred if they and the staff have already received vaccines.

      • Posted by George on

        You should read up on the latest science from the CDC.
        They say that vaccinated people will not get seriously ill from Covid and are unlikely to pass on the virus to others.
        I’m quite sure that all those elders have been vaccinated. Within the GN here doesn’t seem to be much confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine.

        • Posted by Alan Klie on

          That’s exactly what I wrote, except for the qualification of “unlikely”.

          Do you know why there’s doubt about the efficacy of the vaccine within the GN? The science seems to support its efficacy. Is it just distrust or ignorance?

          • Posted by George on

            I guess what I’m saying is that if the elders have been vaccinated then why does the GN find it necessary to move them? If the vaccine does what they say it does then it seems even more risky to move them than to let them be.

            • Posted by Care on

              They moved them because they didn’t have staff to care for them. At least one staff member chose not to get vaccinated and got covid.

    • Posted by Iqaluit Dude on

      offered – there is no requirement to accept the offer.

      • Posted by Larry on

        SHAME,SHAME,we in Nunavut, have to send our elders south, we as Nunavut have failed our elders. We all should hang our heads 2.5 billion budget and no proper elder facility,

  3. Posted by S on

    Ummm, how to phrase this so I’m not censored by the censoritive editors:
    -Rapid testing
    -More sanitizing
    -Vacinnated elders
    -Vacinnated professional staff
    -Vaccinated support staff

    *Not that I agree with the absurb over-reaction to THE coronavirus, but seriously, closing the elders centre.
    *Sounds like another one left home without the brain.

  4. Posted by Nunavummiuq on

    What was the point of having the poor elders get their Covid Shots and go through all the pain and, why would only one staff not get the shot? She or he should be fired because, probably their fault Covid hit at the elders. This is so not fare for the poor elders that now absolutely have no family members around and, probably will never come back even if the Ministers said they will. I strong believe this is BS and do not trust the system no more. Fire that staff who does not want the shot because if they do not get the shot, they will never get rid of the Covid unless they got really sick and died. Minister needs to do his job better errrr…

  5. Posted by Wondering? on

    I’m wondering about:
    – were the families notified about this move, prior to the elders being moved?
    – did anyone lose their job because of this?
    – what communication were provided to the elders who were relocated?
    – does the dept of health have a plan to address this? Contingency plans should have been in placed. We have been dealing with COVID for a year now.
    – are these elders in contact with their family members?
    – the people impacted by this are the elders and their family members. Is anyone thinking about what is best for them?
    – this seems like a political issue now, where are the political leaders?
    – this article suggests that there is a difference of opinion between the CPHO and the dept of health.
    – for the families that are experiencing this, were you informed?

Comments are closed.