Downtown Concerned Citizens Organization

Husband says she ‘feels like she’s in jail’

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A retired Peel Region cop’s wife is in quarantine in her long-term care facility yet again even though she’s had two doses of the COVID vaccine.

Barry Turnbull says Ann has been confined to her room in Barrie’s Mill Creek Care Centre since last weekend after a staff member from her section tested positive for the coronavirus,

This is the third time she’s been locked down and Turnbull said it means his wife must consume her meals alone in the room and cannot leave to have a shower down the hall.

He told me Friday 98% of the home’s residents are vaccinated and 64% of staff have had their vaccines as well.

He added that he’s “applauded” the home many times for its quarantine and infection prevention efforts.

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Only three caregivers tested positive, early in the pandemic, he said.

However, now that vaccines have been given to the residents, he can’t believe the protocols haven’t been adjusted with the risk of spread or death reduced.

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“They (the home’s staff) don’t seem to recognize that,” Turnbull said.

He said his 77-year-old wife, who uses a walker to get around, will be forced to have a bed bath for the eight days of quarantine remaining.

Ann suffers from vascular dementia as a result of a series of strokes.

Turnbull, who served as a Peel Regional Police officer for 30 years, said his wife fell and broke her hip in 2019.

She was admitted to the home in December of 2019 when she could no longer get around their five-level backsplit.

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Turnbull said his wife “feels like she’s in jail” with the current lockdown.

He has not seen her in person since last summer when he and his daughter had a garden meeting with her. But they are able to FaceTime with Ann.

His daughter became her essential caregiver and he was in the process of becoming one too when the home shut down again.

“It’s been a terrible year,” Turnbull said. “Prisoners in jails are not locked up with no exercise for two-week periods.”

He feels strongly that once people are vaccinated, that should make a difference in a home’s protocols.

At the very least she should be able to return to the dining room to eat and staff should allow her to take a shower, which is far more “dignified” than a bed bath.

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In a Feb. 10 report, the home was cited by the Ministry of Long-Term Care for violating Directive #3, which states essential family caregivers are permitted in the home even during a COVID outbreak.

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According to the report the home was only permitting essential visitors inside for palliative care residents while preventing other essential visitors from entering.

But according to Mill Creek Care Centre executive director Jenny Douma, they are “under the direction” of public health and “must follow their guidelines” following a positive test result.

“This includes the isolation protocols, along with other infection prevention and control measures,” she said. “Public Health also determines the testing frequency and when a home can come out of an outbreak.”

She added that the home continues to work hard to keep COVID-19 out.

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