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

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read