– Lia Snijman. Above: Huis Ebenhaeser se ingang. Foto: Facebook.

Huis Ebenhaeser has responded to allegations made by a family member of a former resident who passed away due to Covid-19 saying that the allegations are untrue.

Last week StellenboschNews.com reported on the incident. Gert Erasmus’ daughter said he had not been isolated after going for his Covid-19 test and that they only found out that he had tested positive because the hospital told them to question Huis Ebenhaeser’s staff.

Ciunza Valdaise, manager at Huis Ebenhaeser, said: “The resident that was tested positive for Covid-19 was immediately isolated in the sick bay. The remaining 3 residents in the room were all in isolation including the late Mr. Erasmus until the receipt of their test results.”

Valdaise said they did not force any of their employees to work while sick. He explained that some nurses took chances because they would go to get tested for Covid-19 but the results would take longer than 14 days to get back to them due to the laboratory’s backlog. This would lead to a staff shortage at Huis Ebenhaeser.

There were also allegations of elderly abuse at the frail care centre. He said they “have a zero-tolerance policy for elderly abuse in place” and that in the case of Erasmus “it was an alleged case of elderly abuse reported with no evidence after the day management investigation”. He added that they have cameras in every single room to observe all activities.

“Mr G Erasmus was a bedridden patient in early old age (which is 60-80 years); with underlying conditions and limited regenerative abilities and was more vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Valdaise.

He said they did not allow any visitors on their premises due to the lockdown.

Valdaise has reported that they have had 72 people test positive for Covid-19 in total. 53 of those were residents and 19 employees. They have had 12 Covid-19 related deaths, none of them employees. They have had 52 recoveries, 35 of them residents and 18 employees. They still have 8 active cases, of which one is an employee, but who will all be completing their isolation on Wednesday 15 July. Valdaise said after that they will have no positive Covid-19 cases in their facility.

Stellenbosch has thus far had 38 Covid-19 related deaths, meaning that Huis Ebenhaeser has had almost a third of all Stellenbosch Covid-19 related deaths.