Look beyond classic COVID-19 symptoms in seniors

SENIOR

A medical health officer says looking beyond the classic symptoms for COVID-19 in seniors may have helped stem the spread of the new coronavirus in Vancouver-area long-term care homes.

 Doctor Michael Schwandt says seniors at Vancouver Coastal Health were tested not just for cough, fever or shortness of breath but also fatigue, confusion or when they just didn't seem like themselves.

He says tests were administered broadly and often, which slowed the spread of the virus.

Over 400 residents and staff at B.C. care homes have tested positive for the virus.

Vancouver Coastal Health has had 14 outbreaks in long-term homes and two in acute care facilities.

Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says authorities took a swat-team approach to the outbreak with measures that included sensitive surveillance and testing.

She says those outbreaks have been responsible for the majority of the deaths in the province.