Resident has concerns over spread of Covid19 at Seniors' Centre

By Pepper Parr

July 13th, 2022



It is still out there – amongst us.

We behave as if it isn’t – it is.

Precious little in the way of notices and regular updates from the Regional Medical Officer of Health

A Gazette reader passed along a email conversation she had with a friend.

Some background:

Are the seniors getting the attention they need at the Seniors” Centre? Is the equipment being properly wiped down after use?

A friend who is an instructor at the Burlington Seniors Centre.  She tested positive for Covid on Sunday.  I told her she had to get in touch with staff to let them know as she had taught classes on Wednesday and Friday (16 people and 30 people).  She also told me that the instructor after her shares a microphone with her (the one that goes around the head and has a mouth piece to talk into and this instructor never cleans off the mouthpiece).

I told the friend that staff needed to inform her as well as all of her participants. My friend sent an email on Sunday No mention of whether or not they would contact the seniors who had been exposed.

My friend indicated that there was very little being done in the building with regard to wiping down chairs or going above and beyond cleaning the centre properly.

I emailed Shawna (she is the liaison between council and the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee), Lisa as the Centre is in Ward 2 and the Office of the Mayor.  I had also messaged Shawna through Facebook asking her to look at her email.  She notified Mandy Kerr, who is in charge of the Centre, Denise Beard, and Chris Glenn. Have not heard back from the 2 other recipients.

My concern is that the city will not inform these seniors.

Here is what we got from the Gazette reader:

“  I tested positive for Covid on Monday.  Sunday evening I was not feeling great.  Had a really scratchy and sore throat, runny nose and post nasal drip that resulted in some coughing.  Yesterday, Monday, I had the most horrendous headache and no OTC medication worked. Terrible nausea and total exhaustion, but could not sleep. Any one who tells you covid is like a cold has no idea what they are talking about.

“Called my physician who will call me this morning about getting Pfizer- Paxlovid which is medication given to try to reduce ending up in the hospital.

“I was so careful.  Saw very few people.  I let my guard down about 10 days ago and visited a friend outdoors with no mask…..won’t do that again.”

Covid19 is still with us.  It seems to be targeting older people – given that Burlington has more older people than any other municipality in the Region one would like to believe that extra precautions and vigilance would be exercised – especially at those locations where seniors tend to congregate.





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6 comments to Resident has concerns over spread of Covid19 at Seniors’ Centre

  • Penny Hersh

    Mr. Gamble,

    “Live with it”. I did everything you mentioned – got my 2 initial vaccinations ( opted not to get the booster as I had a terrible reaction from my first two injections), limited who I saw, my outings were strictly for groceries, wore a mask everywhere and now I am dealing with Covid.

    If you have not had to deal with Covid you certainly should be careful in your advice to “live with it”. It is a debilitating and scary virus.

    My husband who got all 4 of his covid vaccinations is now testing positive as well and has just returned from the Covid Response Team that is located in St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was evaluated by them. They had to change some of his medications , so that he could take Paxlovid and if this was not possible he would have had to have a different drug that is administered by intravenous in Hamilton.This would be a 3 day course and would have travelled back and forth to Hamilton.

    Joseph Brant Hospital does not provide this care.

    Do you honestly feel that the seniors who attended a class on Friday at the Burlington Senior Centre with an instructor who tested positive for covid on Saturday should not be informed and be on the lookout for symptoms? In order to qualify for some of the drugs to decrease the likelihood of hospitalization treatment has to start in the first 5 days after testing positive.

    Is it too much for the City to mandate wearing facial masks when in a facility that caters to seniors and officially we are in a 7th Covid wave?

    • Ted Gamble


      Frankly I think you are making my point. I am not advocating what the City or other levels of government should do or not do in regards to communication, masking, etc. I find it disconcerting that after over two years it appears that the city does not apparently have clear guidelines or protocols. Continue to press them.

      Each person has to make personal decisions that are best for them and there personal health situation. Your experiences might suggest that continued vaccination with the same serum isn’t working. I read this week that the latest variants do a great job of eluding both natural immunity and vaccination developed resistance. Taking the same serum multiple times doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I stopped at one booster.

      I also read an article that an Israeli study suggests that people that have multiple vaccinations are contagious for a longer period of time. That is concerning if factual.

      I pay no attention to which wave we are in and continue to distance and avoid indoor groups when I can. I don’t mask at all. One of my daughters entire family is going through their second Covid bout this summer and they are all triple vaccinated. She sounds rough today
      Life will go on and we all have to be responsible for our own decisions and actions. Again it is a virus. If they actually come up with a modified serum I might consider a second booster. I will certainly take my annual flu shot when available
      I was in New Brunswick last week, 65,000 residents have no family doctor including my buddies wife who is 55 and her mother who is 78. They are life long residents. many folks from Ontario and elsewhere have moved there. They will not be able to access medical services but this is not new to anyone familiar with the situation in rural Canada.

      If there is was one suggestion I could make it would be to revamp the entire medical system in this country because it is not working. It starts and ends with having adequate staff and medical supplies. It seems 13 premiers are aligned however the feds have other spending priorities. Example $40 billion for reconciliation, their second largest budget line.

      Are you folks aware of the critical shortages of supplies like isotopes for cardiac and cancer medical work? Doesn’t make the news does it? I am aware that Doctors in Hamilton are having to decide who is “worthy” of having that angiogram. Think about that.


  • Ted Gamble

    It is a virus and it mutates as does every other virus. Wash your hands, keep your distance and live with it. My doctor and pharmacist do not advise taking a second booster at this time and about 50% of those over 18 have not had even one booster. So much for Canadians protecting one another.
    The MOH, Ford, your doctor and certainly not Tam or any politician can “protect you”. Why do you folks you this forum to keep railing at them? To make political statements?

  • Penny Hersh

    It is most concerning when there is no urgency in informing participants who could have been exposed to Covid while attending the classes this instructor taught..

    No return emails from the Mayor’s Office, indicating that she followed up with Chris Glenn, Denise Beard or Mandy Kerr (Supervisor of Adult Programs). If the mayor was still ward 2 councillor she would have been all over this in a second.

    The instructor received an email from a staff member, hoping that she feels better soon and a copy of what the City’s HR Department policy is on when to return to work. This instructor has worked with the city for over 30 years…..So much for loyalty.

    Presently there are about 4 long term care homes in Burlington that are in Covid lockdown. My physician alone told me that in her practice alone in the last 3 days she has 10 patients who have tested positive for covid.

    But as we have heard so many times from this and past councils “We love our seniors”, guess not enough though to protect them from contracting this disease.

  • Tom Muir

    In my repeatedly reinforced opinion, the Regional Medical Officer of Health has been largely missing in action for much of the pandemic unless she is let off her leash by Ford.

  • Mitch

    All of the MO’soH have abandoned us. We are on our own. God Help Us All.