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Residents of AVENS begin the journey home

After more three weeks of away from home, residents of AVENS are finally coming home.
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The job of returning residents to AVENS started on Wednesday and will continue through to Saturday. Photo courtesy of Daryl Dolynny

After more three weeks of away from home, residents of AVENS are finally coming home.

AVENS announced its plans earlier this week with flights happening between Sept. 13 and 16.

“We will be utilizing four separate daily charters during this repatriation period,” stated the residence in a release. “Each charter will play a crucial role in reuniting our residents with their familiar surroundings and the compassionate care of our dedicated staff.”

Daryl Dolynny, president and chief executive officer of AVENS, said about 90 peoples would be flown home using Dash-7s provided by Air Tindi.

“Each one of them is full,” he said..

He also said that there is enough staff at the facility in Yellowknife to welcome the residents upon arrival

The facility had to undergo a thorough cleaning and preparation process, including infection prevention and control measures, ordering food, linens, and other necessary items before welcoming people back, he added.

Dolynny said that everyone is in good spirits and there was a lot of anticipation and excitement about returning home.

Evacuated residents were housed in two locations: Telford Mews in Leduc and Waterford of Summerlea in northwest Edmonton and Dolynny said he is most appreciative of the help they received.

“We were very fortunate to have a medical doctor down here in St. Albert to assist,” he said. “We had direct help with Alberta Health Services and a physician, everyone was assessed for their ability to fly back and we’re feeling pretty comfortable that everyone is in a ready position.”

Dolynny also acknowledged the NWT Health and Social Services Authority for their help.

“I can’t tell you how many people involved but there’s a lot of people involved in these logistics, not just AVENS, but there’s some key individuals in the government who have been very good to work with,” he said.