Cariboo Place resident Joan Tomm (from Left), rehabilitation worker Janae Miller and resident Delores Shire wave to friends and family below recently during a ‘honk and wave’ event to connect with seniors inside the facility. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Seniors staying safe, isolated at Cariboo Place in Williams Lake

“We’re are very grateful to everyone who works in there. They are amazing.”

As her elderly mom, Joan Tomm, waved and blew kisses from behind the windows in Cariboo Place, Laurie Walters choked back tears Friday while talking about how long it’s been since she was able to give her a hug.

“It’s been weeks for me,” Walters said, standing outside the building at 1:30 p.m. as motorists drove by for a ‘honk and a wave’ to salute the health care workers and residents inside, safely weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nobody is allowed to be in there and we really respect that. They’re awesome here to keep them safe and healthy,” Walters said of Cariboo Place and the visiting restrictions in place to protect the residents from the deadly coronavirus.

“We’re are very grateful to everyone who works in there. They are amazing.”

Tomm was one of the first residents to move into Cariboo Place when it opened in 2019.

“She loves it,” Walters said.

“They are like family there to mom so that’s a comfort,” added her sister.

Read More: Second health care salute being planned for Williams Lake

Currently there are no long term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks within Interior Health. Facilities have been hit hard in southern B.C., however, with 21 long term care and assisted living homes currently affected.

There have been 55 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. as of April 10.

Seniors who need assistance can call 2-1-1.

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