Steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus at the Langley Senior Recreation and Resource Centre includes disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and bulletins to educate members about prevention.
As well, the facility at 20605 51B Avenue in Langley City, is scaling back events that would bring large numbers of people together, said Loretta Solomon, vice-chair of the centre’s board of directors.
“We are postponing all large group activities that put seniors in very close proximity to one another for long periods of time, such as special event lunches and dinners” Solomon advised.
Solomon told the Langley Advance Times that the centre began taking preventative steps several weeks ago, when news of the virus first surfaced.
“We obviously knew what was coming,” Solomon commented.
“We’ve had plenty of warning.”
Containers of disinfectant wipes have been put out, along with hand sanitizer dispensers.
Bulletins outline precautions, including the need to properly wash hands and to “avoid touching your eye, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.”
“They need to wash for 20 seconds with soap and warm water,” said Solomon, who has a medical background.
One way to calculate the time is to sing the Happy Birthday song to yourself, she suggested.
If someone thinks they may have symptoms of the coronavirus – fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing – the bulletin advises people to stay home and call 8-1-1 for advice.
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Solomon said centre members are doing their best to follow the guidelines.
“Seniors get it,” Solomon observed. “They want to be safe and they want their friends to be safe.”
As well, the centre is bringing in experts to give presentations about safety tips.
“We are a resource centre so one of the things we need to be doing is dispensing information,” Solomon said.
“This is our family, we want them to be safe.”
Volunteers at the centre have also noticed fewer members are attending the centre, likely out of concern about potential viral hazards.
Society director Alec Bennet said the centre is following the recommendations of health experts.
“We’re doing everything that we’ve been advised to do,” Bennet said.
“We need to stay on top of it.”
Solomon said concern began to rise among members of the centre after news of an COVID-19 outbreak at an extended care facility for seniors in North Vancouver, which recorded B.C.’s first fatality from the COVID-19 coronavirus this week.
The patient at the Lynn Valley Care Centre was a man in his 80s with a number of underlying health conditions. A few other people at the centre have since been diagnosed.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said people who are feeling ill, even with a cold, should stay home or keep their children at home until they feel better.