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Showing dedication and resilience throughout Acropolis Manor outbreak


Nurse wearing face shield and personal protective equipment
Fay Armstrong in her PPE at Acropolis Manor

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many people’s strength and resilience to the test. And even much more so, for health care workers. The first outbreak was declared at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on January 19, 2021, and was declared over on March 16, 2021.

Supporting the outbreak response at Acropolis Manor

To help with an increasing number of staff members calling in sick, employees from nearby communities volunteered to work at Acropolis. Fay Armstrong, an LPN from Terrace, was one of a number of staff members who came to Prince Rupert to support the outbreak response.

When Fay first arrived at Acropolis, it was a chaotic mix of people – nurses, care aids, housekeeping, and people from different management teams for outbreak coordination, focusing on what they could do to help. Fay started working directly on one of the pods directly impacted by the outbreak.

Coming from a nursing background, Fay wanted to help out in her area of expertise. From housekeeping to care aids to nurses, everyone was from other facilities and communities, but they all filled in where their niche was, which brought the outbreak response together. Many staff were putting in extra hours and came to Prince Rupert from out of town.

“The people in Acropolis received excellent care [throughout this response],” said Fay. “That was the priority and everyone had the same common goal of taking care of the residents.”

Several times while Fay was working on the unit with the residents who were COVID-19 positive, there would only be one actual staff member from Prince Rupert so she had to rely on the local person to find forms or supplies we needed.

“Even though the people who came from out of town didn't know the residents, we got to know them and have contact with family members,” said Fay. “Some families were understandably distraught but everyone was so kind.”

Showing dedication and resilience

Fay is just one example who has displayed extreme resilience throughout the COVID-19 response. While Fay was helping in Prince Rupert, she was staying in a travel trailer so she could be isolated when not working. Devastatingly, she was called back to her trailer one morning to find it in flames.

“I felt such a mix of emotions,” said Fay. “My trailer was burning down and I had to miss the day of work but I just felt terrible for not being able to go into work right away.”

The people of Prince Rupert showed the Northern Way of Caring and arranged for a hotel for her to stay in and got her scrubs for her shift the next day.

“Everyone was so very generous and kind and giving of their time,” said Fay.

Even though Fay, and all other staff members are still dealing with their personal lives, they continued to show up for their residents.

“[When Fay’s trailer burned down] she didn’t miss a beat. She called to let people know and said she was going to stay and keep working,” said Geoff Zaparinuk, ICS Commander for the Acropolis outbreak. “Fay was an excellent asset to our team and is a solid nurse and team member.”

That level of dedication from Northern Health staff has been seen from a number of staff members throughout the outbreak. Staff members overcame any personal struggles they were facing to be there for the residents.

“This just goes to show that the people we have at Northern Health really have the grit and determination to do well for the people and are committed to their residents and the care they provide,” said Geoff.

Responding to the difficult outbreak at Acropolis Manor, and all other outbreaks which have happened within Northern Health, is a team approach. Everyone has to work together for the response to be successful. Northern Health thanks their staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Health sends their heartfelt condolences to the families and caregivers of the individuals who have died in the Acropolis Manor outbreak, and elsewhere throughout the pandemic.