A total of 17 staff and five residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Vernon and District Association for Community Living, or Venture Training, according to Executive Director Ryan Cucheron Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Google image)

A total of 17 staff and five residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Vernon and District Association for Community Living, or Venture Training, according to Executive Director Ryan Cucheron Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Google image)

22 positive COVID-19 cases at Vernon’s Venture Training

17 staff, five residents tested positive at the agency which offers programs for people with disabilities

The Vernon and District Association for Community Living has closed its day services indefinitely following several positive COVID-19 tests over the Christmas holidays.

The association, otherwise known as Venture Training, offers programs to people with developmental disabilities in a number of care homes in Vernon.

Executive director Ryan Cucheron says a total of 17 staff members and five residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

He says on Dec. 24, a resident in one of the homes was taken to hospital with what was then thought to be pneumonia.

After receiving a test, the resident was found to have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Later that day, he was contacted by a staff member who told him they had also tested positive.

“So then we right away went into our exposure control plan, getting all staff that had contact with these (people) tested – which essentially was every staff in the house,” Cucheron said.

Ten of the staff members who tested positive were working out of a program based in a Vernon care home away from Venture Training’s main site on Alexis Park Drive, Cucheron said.

Two were from another program and five were casual employees who work in various other care homes at different times.

Venture Training day services were supposed to resume Jan. 4 after the holidays, but Cucheron says public health authorities have instructed him to keep those services closed indefinitely.

However, the agency’s residents still need care around the clock, which has meant staff have had to don full personal protective equipment (PPE) as they continue to work in Venture Training’s five group homes.

“We’ve just been having to get staff to come work because obviously the individuals who live there, the residents, still need care 24-7,” Cucheron said.

He says Venture Training has been getting many well wishes from other agencies.

There is some need for resources as the agency must now increase its stock of PPE to keep up with its strict exposure control protocols. “All staff are wearing full PPE, gowns, gloves, masks, face shields, so we’re always working to make sure those supplies are full,” he said.

Venture Training is working closely with Interior Health’s communicable disease unit since the outbreak began.

READ MORE: Second long-term care outbreak in South Okanagan community

READ MORE: B.C. surgery wait list getting shorter after COVID-19 disruption


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon Morning Star columnist Sam McNair gives an inside look to One Yoga in Vernon. (Sam McNair - Contributed)
Small Business Spotlight: One Yoga Vernon

It’s 2021 and everyone is looking forward to a new year full… Continue reading

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon’s Heritage Square long-term care home has now claimed eight lives as of Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19 claims another life at Vernon’s Heritage Square

Eight residents of the assisted living facility have died due to the virus to date

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Administrative headquarters for the Regional District of Central Okanagan in Kelowna. (File photo)
Tempers fly over a pricey picnic shelter in the North Westside

Lack of detail on $121,000 shelter expenditure further incites self-governance wishes

(Pixabay photo)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines of the week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read