More than 30 individuals have so far responded to a request to lend a hand during a COVID-19 outbreak at Menno Home in Abbotsford.
Karen Biggs, CEO of Menno place (of which Menno Home is a part), said Monday afternoon (Nov. 30) that 32 family members have so far responded to a plea to help the facility with staff shortages related to housekeeping, food services and laundry.
The request was posted on the Menno Place website on Sunday after two staffers and 10 residents tested positive for COVID-19. Biggs said Monday the number of staff who have tested positive is now up to six.
The facility said it is looking to hire and pay family and close friends as “temporary relief workers.”
Biggs said the request was made due to a shortage of staff from those who have tested positive and others who have to self-isolate while waiting for their swab results.
She said the shortage is also due to having to limit staff to working in only one unit and at only one facility as part of the government’s pandemic-response protocol.
Biggs said they have been trying to hire housekeeping staff for several months since the single-site order went into effect, at which time they lost 39 casual employees to other care homes.
“When we run ads, we get 35-plus responses but when we call, they are on EI and just want to be able to say they are applying; they don’t even come for an interview,” she said.
Biggs said she came up with the idea of hiring family members because her parents used to volunteer to be part of “work parties” at their church camp when she was a kid.
She said any family member or friend who is hired will receive the same orientation and training as all staff, including on safety and work procedure protocols and infection-control measures.
Menno Home is one of three Abbotsford long-term-care homes with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Abbotsford News has reached out to Fraser Health to get updated case numbers for Tabor Home, which had a total of 124 positive cases and 16 deaths as of Nov. 24 since its outbreak began Nov. 4.
Fraser Health reported on Nov. 18 that the Cottage-Worthington Pavilion had two staff members who had tested positive.
– with files from Tyler Olsen