‘We don’t know what’s going on’: Families seek answers amid COVID-19 outbreak at Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre

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“There’s no transparency whatsoever,” Kozoway said. “One of the things I asked (staff) before Mom died was why can’t we get a non-scripted (response)? Why do we have to get a scripted general answer from the home? That’s all I asked for. Why can’t we get some transparency instead of a general statement?”

Jacqueline Wojcichowsky, whose 85-year-old father lives at the home, has also been struggling to get answers about how GSS is managing the outbreak. She said she learned about it from the news and is fearful for her father’s safety.

“Right now I’m panicking on the inside. I’m panicking,” Wojcichowsky said. “I think it would be safer for him outside right now. I haven’t received any emails while this pandemic is going. My brother wants to know what’s going on, I want to know.”

Liz Brisby, whose 82-year-old mother lives at the home, also raised issues with the level of communication, especially as the number of active cases started to steadily climb in July. She said she’s frustrated and feels like she’s between a rock and a hard place trying to sort out what’s happening at the home.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “We don’t know when testing is being done, how often it’s being done. We know what’s being done on occasion but there’s no information coming as to what’s the plan.”

The Good Samaritan Society Southgate Care Centre, 4225 107 St., Wednesday July 29, 2020. Several deaths have now been linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at the care home. Photo by David Bloom
The Good Samaritan Society Southgate Care Centre, 4225 107 St., July 29, 2020. David Bloom/Postmedia

GSS interim president and CEO Michelle Bonnici said in an interview the facility is doing its best to communicate with families by sending out letters to primary contacts and providing updates on their website, but she acknowledged the staff are struggling to keep up.