Lockdown lifted at Columbian Centre in Prince Albert

The Columbian Centre in Prince Albert has had a COVID-19 outbreak declared./Michael Oleksyn

The Columbian Centre seniors living complex in Prince Albert has been taken out of lockdown.

The senior’s living complex was put under lockdown after public health detected five COVID-19 cases among residents on Dec. 23. After further testing was completed on Jan. 2, no further cases were detected and the lockdown was lifted just two days later.

 “The rest of us all tested negative so they lifted our lockdown on Monday, Jan. 4,” facility manager Rob Fahlman said.

“Everybody in here was patient they persevered and they also recognized that the regulations during COVID have  to be followed and it was Public Health and we had to do our part to curb the COVID,”

The news came as a great relief to residents.

“We were all very happy to hear that and very thankful. And we just attribute it to of course the Public Health looking after us and the tenants themselves being obedient” he explained.

“A lot of our tenants are praying too, oh yes they were praying hard and they told me so and I believe them. Through Public Health’s assistance we were able to nip it in the bud.”

According to Fahlman, after an initial positive test was confirmed on Dec. 23, public health informed Columbian Centre that seniors were not allowed to leave their rooms and visitors were not permitted.

All residents were tested on Christmas Eve and the other four positive results were returned in late December. The province, in the official listings on the province’s online dashboard, listed the outbreak as declared on Dec. 27. An outbreak is declared when there are at least two active cases in a location.

Things have returned to relative normalcy in the building since the lockdown was lifted.

“For two weeks now people have been going about their business. They missed some time with their families of course over Christmas and New Year’s but I think most of them made up for it after within the confines of the COVID restrictions. They have reunited with their families in some way,” Fahlman said.

 “My hat is off to these people because they have been through a lot already. And in this time of their life family is huge for them. It was quite a sacrifice for them.”

Last Friday, public health offered vaccinations to residents. Fifty took part. Still, the building isn’t taking any chances.

 “I tell them that from my understanding this vaccination isn’t going to kick in for another couple of weeks so there is no letting down on the masks and sanitizing that we do in the building. There is no letting down in anything so we just keep on doing what we have been doing,” Fahlman said.