PEI

P.E.I. nursing homes move 'to protect a very vulnerable population'

A nursing home operator on P.E.I. is putting extra precautions in place to protect its residents in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greeters stationed at entrances starting Friday

New visitor restrictions are in place at Whisperwood Villa and two other P.E.I. seniors' homes. (Ken Linton/CBC)

A nursing home operator on P.E.I. is putting extra precautions in place to protect residents in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

P.E.I. Seniors Homes operates Whisperwood Villa and the Garden Home in Charlottetown and Lady Slipper Villa in O'Leary.

Company CEO Jason Lee said in addition to following guidelines from public health regarding restrictions on those who have recently travelled internationally, the company is implementing further restrictions.

"We'd like to consider any of the affected provinces as an area we want to be screening people for," said Lee.

"We want people who are in close contact with people that meet that criteria to just stay away from the home."

Signs regarding the new restrictions were posted earlier this week, and starting Friday greeters were in place at entrances to screen people, and make sure they cleaned their hands before entering.

'People are very understanding,' says P.E.I. Seniors Home CEO Jason Lee. (Ken Linton/CBC)

Lee said some visitors have already been turned away.

"Generally people are very understanding. People understand why we're doing it," he said.

"They know we're trying to protect a very vulnerable population."

COVID-19  is particularly dangerous for the elderly, said Lee, so the company wants to take all reasonable precautions to keep it out of the homes.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Nicole Williams

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