The last time Bernadette Cheung saw her grandmother, she looked smaller somehow. It was August and the isolation of the pandemic had taken a toll, but the elderly woman with dementia still smiled warmly through her care home window.
“She was still a very bright and bubbly person,” Cheung remembered. “For me, she was a source of comfort and positivity.”
Read more: After criticism, B.C. to provide more information about COVID-19 cases at care homes
By late December, Yuet Wan was dead from COVID-19 when an outbreak swept through Little Mountain Place in Vancouver. Out of 114 residents, 99 have tested positive and 41 of those have died.
Seventy staff members were also infected but most have recovered. All remaining eligible residents and most staff have recently been vaccinated.
The outbreak, among the deadliest in long-term care homes in B.C., is raising questions about oversight at such facilities. Cheung wants answers from staff about how the virus spread to so many residents, as well as a detailed investigation into what went wrong and a stronger third-party body to hold care homes accountable.
Little Mountain Place referred questions to Vancouver Coastal Health, which said in a statement it has worked closely with the care home to bring the outbreak under control, including by screening and testing staff and residents, promptly isolating cases and employing infection prevention and control practices.