Emergency meetings on COVID concerns called at nursing homes


Tribune Staff Reporter


EMERGENCY meetings on coronavirus concerns were called at several private nursing homes yesterday after government officials revealed a local eldercare home had recently experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in the death of one patient.

On Tuesday, Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell told reporters that COVID-19 exposure at one of the government’s senior citizens homes led to six seniors and four staff members testing positive for the respiratory virus, one of whom has since died in hospital.

The outbreak prompted officials to reinstate several restrictive measures at all senior citizens homes to ensure that people receiving care at the homes are kept safe.

After news of the outbreak circulated, many private nursing homes held meetings with their staff, reminding them of their duties to both adhere and enforce COVID-19 protocols where needed.

Patricia Moxey, owner of Pat’s Senior Citizens Home, told The Tribune officials are now on high alert after the incident and will continue to take the necessary precautions to ensure that seniors in nursing homes are kept safe.

She said the message will also be stressed to workers, noting that employees caught disobeying current health rules will not be tolerated.

“I heard the minister this morning and I called for (an) emergency meeting with my staff today and absolutely we will abide by all rules,” she said. “We weren’t allowing visitation at this time. By all means, they can bring whatever goods they would want to bring and we will sanitise it.

“(For staff), we have one door that you must enter so when you come through that door, you are tested for your temperature and you are also sanitised...so, we have strict protocols and even persons that we have hired, I deal with them with their lifestyle and tell them to be careful where they go and who you hang around with and make sure you wear your masks at all time, especially when you’re on the premises.”

She added: “I try to talk with my staff to know their whereabouts and what they’re doing and I let them know that if you’re going to be (at) this function and the next function, then this is not the place for you. Sometimes they say, ‘Ms Moxey, you’re trying to get personal’ and I say ‘No, I have these people’s lives entrusted to me and I have to do what’s best for them.’”

Similar warnings were given to staff members at Good Samaritan Senior Citizen’s Home, who have since upped their guard against the virus.

“I had to have a meeting with the staff this morning,” said Dr Sinyma Capron, head of the eldercare home, when contacted yesterday

“It’s a very scary thing. I was telling them that they are folks that are out there because they have to be coming in to work so I made sure to let them know that they have to protect themselves from the folks that are inside here because they are the ones that are going to come in.

“I tell them from day one, when they come in and get to that door, they have to sanitise themselves from head to toe and they have to spray themselves before they even go to the patients.”

A meeting was also expected to be held yesterday afternoon at Unity House on similar concerns.

Yesterday, The Tribune also sought to get an update on the vaccination process at the care facilities as staff and residents of eldercare homes were among the first group eligible to receive the doses.

According to Ms Moxey, none of Pat’s Senior Citizens Home’s residents have received their vaccine to date, though she insists the home has remained COVID-free since the pandemic. The facility, which employs some 30 people, houses more than 50 elderly residents, including some 22 boarders.

“We have the forms that were signed by the loved ones but no one (from health) has come to us yet, but they’ve been calling and I’m sure they will make their way to us very soon,” she said. “Most of them, they’re family is speaking for them and their family wants them to take it and those in their right mind are saying ‘yes, they will take it.’ It’s very few of them. All together, we should have between 28 and 30 persons (who will take the vaccine), somewhere in that neighbourhood.”

For her part, Ms Moxey said she is still consulting with her doctor and further educating herself until she makes a final decision.

At the Good Samaritan Senior Citizen’s Home, which is home to some 24 people, there is also a sense of vaccine hesitancy there.

Dr Capron told The Tribune that no one has received their first shot yet because they are still waiting to receive word from health officials.

She said: “The doctor, she told me that her team was going to get back to me and they would come in and give the shots to the set who want to take but she hasn’t gotten back to me yet but since all of this come up now, probably I will be hearing from them soon anyway.”

Dr Capron said she has received approval from about four relatives who want their loved ones to get the shot.

As for those who are in sound mind to make the decision for themselves, she said “you have like five or six of them” who have agreed to get vaccinated.

“Some seem to be afraid (to get vaccinated) because of their medical issues,” Dr Capron said. “I know the people say that everyone who has those things like hypertension and all that should take it but I don’t know, they just afraid.”

When asked if anyone had been vaccinated at Unity House, supervisor Judith Smith replied:“ “No, not yet.”

Up to press time, The Bahamas had almost 11,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, however less than 800 of those are still active.


carltonr61 3 years ago

This is great work by the nursing homes to have remained so safe just using common sense health protocols. Amazing.


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