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COVID-19 response costing Mountain View Seniors' Housing extra

Call for governments to come up with more support
seniors housing spending
Bruce Beattie, chairman Mountain View Seniors' Housing said he's proud of what management and staff have done during the pandemic. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS – Mountain View Seniors’ Housing (MVSH) is spending about $10,000 a week on its COVID-19 response, says chairman Bruce Beattie.

“We have no cases of COVID-19 in any of our facilities so far but that has cost us an extra $50,000 a month that was unanticipated,” said Beattie, who is also Mountain View County's reeve.

“I’ve very proud of what that organization has done. Our management and our staff have done a fantastic job.”

MVSH owns and operates seniors’ lodges and manors in Olds, Sundre, Didsbury and Carstairs.

Pandemic response expenses at MVSH facilities have included added staffing costs for enhanced supportive living and increased housekeeping services.

About half of all COVID-19 fatalities in Canada have occurred in continuing care facilities, including in seniors’ lodges.

MVSH would like to see governments come up with funds to cover the new costs, says Beattie.

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“We are hoping that the province or the federal government will see that this is something that needs to be picked up because of COVID and that it should be covered by them. We will see,” he said.

During its recent 2020 resolution session, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) adopted a resolution put forward by Mountain View County calling for additional provincial government support for seniors' housing.

The resolution requests that Alberta government and Alberta Ministry of Health “provide funding to Alberta housing management bodies and continuing care operators in support of front-line workers for the additional labour, additional supplies and lost revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic directives and orders.”

The resolution also calls on the ministry of Health to immediately provide a “plan for emergency supply of labour and supplies to Alberta housing management bodies and continuing care operators in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at a facility in Alberta.”

The Mountain View County resolution passed by 91 per cent vote in favour. The RMA represents 69 rural municipalities.