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 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.