Crystal Schick/Yukon News file Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, update the territory on the COVID-19 situation during a live press conference in Whitehorse on March 27, 2020.

Long-term care facilities safe during COVID, premier says

Quick action has made long-term care facilities safe during the pandemic, according to the premier.

Premier Sandy Silver offered reassurance during the government’s COVID-19 update on April 17, telling those with family members in one of the government’s five long-term care homes that all is well.

“Your loved ones are being well cared for and are being kept safe,” Silver said.

He pointed out that the homes offer single rooms. He said this is a fortunate fact, as it would go a long way to help contain an outbreak.

The continuing care division is continuing to work with the Yukon Communicable Disease Centre and the office of the chief medical officer of health on infection control practices and outbreak management.

He said the government “acted quickly” to protect long-term care homes due to the residents being vulnerable. Such measures included limiting visits to essential visits and screening all visitors.

Accommodations have been made to allow for virtual visits or window visits.

The staff is working hard to provide some form of recreation to residents, Silver said.

“The employees managing these facilities are very committed to the well-being of the residents,” Silver said.

All staff members are encouraged to stay home if feeling sick and not to work at other long-term care facilities. The staff is also being trained on how to use personal protective equipment.

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