FILE – Hospital transfer workers are seen outside the Lynn Valley Centre care home in North Vancouver, B.C. on April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

COVID-19 ‘hoax call’ to B.C. long-term care home leads to arrest

Centre said it received a phone call that ‘appeared to originate from health authorities’

The long-term care centre that saw B.C.’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a health-care setting has revealed it was the target of a hoax call in March.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre had 52 residents and 26 staff contract the virus, and a male resident was the first in Canada to die of COVID-19. He was followed by 19 more resident deaths at the care centre before the outbreak was declared over in early May.

READ MORE: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

In an open letter released Tuesday (July 21), the centre said it received a phone call that “appeared to originate from health authorities” on March 8, shortly after its outbreak began.

While the content of the phone call is currently the subject of an RCMP investigation, the centre said the call “deeply alarmed our staff.”

The centre said it took action immediately but that by the next day, officials learned the call was a hoax.

“It caused needless fear among residents and their families,” the centre said. “It created apprehension among our staff who, just like the majority of Canadians five months ago, knew little about the disease and its dangers, became reluctant to come to work. That call kicked us while we were down, really down.”

The centre said one person has recently been arrested in connection to the hoax call.

READ MORE: Daughter of man at B.C. care home hit by COVID-19 says loneliness is a big issue


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusRCMPSeniors

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

Just Posted

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

Roots and Blues festival to kick off virtually on Friday

Watch the festival on Black Press Media website platforms, for free

Morning Start: The first vending machines dispensed holy water

Your morning start for Thursday, August 13, 2020

Morning Start: Women can give birth after they die

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Most Read