Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

UPDATE: Tabor Home in Abbotsford records 16 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at long-term-care facility have tested positive

The COVID-19 outbreak at Tabor Home in Abbotsford has now resulted in a total of 124 cases and 16 deaths.

Fraser Health confirmed Monday evening (Nov. 23) that 74 residents – 63 per cent of the facility’s occupancy of 118 – and 50 staff have tested positive since the outbreak began Nov. 4.

Tabor Home is a long-term-care facility owned and operated by Tabor Village.

In an e-newsletter sent to family and friends Monday evening, Tabor Village executive director Dan Levitt said the home currently has 67 active cases – 44 residents and 23 staff.

A follow-up newsletter from Levitt on Tuesday afternoon had slightly different total case numbers than Fraser Health, saying there were 67 residents and 55 staff who have tested positive, for a total of 122 cases.

The latest updated indicated that there have now been 16 deaths, including five on Monday, “in comparison to last year when we lost five people in the span of the entire month of November.”

“When these deeply valued and beloved older persons pass away, it is a tragedy and one that breaks all our hearts as we come to know and love these Tabor family members,” Levitt wrote.

He said the facility is continuing to work with Fraser Health, including weekly testing of all staff and residents.

Levitt said care aides who have recovered are now back at work. He said the remaining gaps are being covered by overtime shifts, additional staff from Fraser Health, staff from post-secondary health-care programs, and hiring through staff agencies.

RELATED: Tabor Home in Abbotsford now has 101 COVID-19 cases

Family members of two residents told The Abbotsford News that they are concerned not only about the extent of the outbreak, but what they say is a “lack of communication” from management.

In the latest email, Levitt indicated that family will receive a phone call once a week “and more frequently as staffing resources permit.”

“We realize the restricted communication between yourself and your loved ones has been hard. We hope and trust these weekly phone calls from staff will help bring a little more peace in your heart and mind as we all continue to work together in getting back to being outbreak-free,” Levitt wrote.

Fiona Whittington-Walsh, whose mother-in-law is among the Tabor Home residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, said a weekly call and a couple of emails a week is not good enough.

Families have been prohibited from window visits, and to be left for days with no knowledge about their loves ones’ well-being is distressing. She said it is also overwhelming for the residents, who might not fully comprehend what is happening and why they can’t see their families.

“We’re really frustrated with the lack of transparency. In the very least, Fraser Health should have had a communications point person that dealt directly with families every day, letting us know what’s happening,” Whittington-Walsh said.

She said she is concerned that the outbreak wasn’t contained at the outset, and believes that a “lack of leadership” is to blame. She said Levitt and the Fraser Health board of directors all need to be fired.

“They’re not keeping (the residents) safe. They’re not providing a standard of care … It’s just shocking that nine months into this pandemic, this kind of outbreak can happen.”

The daughter of another resident said she is also concerned about how the situation is being handled.

“I find the lack of communication and how things are being handled very difficult and painful. I think and worry about the care my parent is receiving – or not receiving – every day. Staff are saying they are short-staffed, yet Tabor claims they have it under control,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

Heidi Giesbrecht, whose father is a Tabor Home resident, disgrees with the two women, saying she has not had any difficulties at any time receiving information about her dad.

She said she and her family were informed on Nov. 12 that her dad had tested positive for the virus. At the time, he was doing well with minor symptoms, and Giesbrecht said she was assured they would be notified immediately if there were any changes and that they could call at any time for an update.

“I became our family’s spokesperson for that. I called twice a day for an update on my dad. Every time I was treated with respect and all my questions were answered,” Giesbrecht said.

She said has been in contact with Levitt several times, and he has always responded “very promptly and courteously.”

The Tabor Home outbreak is the largest that has occurred at a long-term-care home in Fraser Health throughout the pandemic. The largest number of deaths in the region was at Langley Lodge, where 25 residents died during outbreaks in March and April.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that there are currently 54 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities across B.C.

She said the growth in these outbreaks is linked to how much of the virus is in the community, as employees inadvertently bring COVID-19 into vulnerable care homes when they are contagious before showing symptoms.

RELATED: B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

RELATED: Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFraser Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack volunteer drivers are needed to help get cancer patients back and forth to Abbotsford (shown here), Surrey and Vancouver cancer clinics. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Volunteer drivers needed to expand cancer driver program to Chilliwack

Drivers will need to commit to one full day of driving, or two half days each week

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

An injection kit is seen inside a Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Hope’s high rate of drug overdose noted in BC Coroners Service report

Up-to-date numbers not available yet for 2021, but Fraser Health deaths on the rise

Screenshot from security footage a young, thin cougar prowling on Oliver Crescent in Sardis on May 7, 2021. (Dustin Meyer photo)
VIDEO: Cougar sighting in residential Chilliwack neighbourhood prompts warning

Springtime cougar sightings likely due to cats following deer down to valley floor, says CO

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Most Read