WELLINGTON COUNTY – As the number of COVID-19 cases at Caressant Care Arthur continues to climb, company officials say they are taking the necessary steps to try to get two outbreaks under control.
On Jan. 6, 21 residents and 10 staff members in the retirement home portion of the facility were infected, while eight residents and seven workers had tested positive in the long-term care side – for a total of 46 cases.
The previous day there were 39 cases reported.
Spokesperson Stuart Oakley stated in an email that Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes is working closely with public health to manage the outbreak in Arthur.
“We are in constant touch with public health and with community partners, who are assisting as required with additional staffing to help manage this outbreak,” Oakley wrote on Jan. 5.
“We are also grateful for the assistance of the local paramedic service who is helping with remote patient monitoring of 12 retirement home residents.”
Oakley said deep cleaning is done daily and the home has a good supply of personal protective equipment for staff.
“We have an incredibly capable team at Caressant Care Arthur who is working around the clock to ensure residents are cared for and to help stop further spread,” he said.
The Arthur outbreaks, declared on Dec. 12 (retirement home) and 26 (long-term care), are among 12 current COVID-19 outbreaks at facilities in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region as of Jan 6.
The others are:
- Heritage River in Elora, one staff case, declared on Jan. 5;
- Stone Lodge in Guelph, (retirement), one resident and two staff, declared on Jan. 2;
- Homewood Health Centre in Guelph (Hamilton unit), one staff, declared Jan. 2;
- Royal Terrace in Palmerston (long-term care), one staff, declared Dec. 30;
- Eden House in Guelph-Eramosa, one staff, declared on Dec. 27;
- Bethsaida Retirement Community in Orangeville, 19 residents and five staff, declared on Dec. 27;
- The Elliott Community (retirement home) in Guelph, one resident and four staff, declared on Dec. 20;
- Avalon Care Centre in Orangeville (2 South), two staff, declared Dec. 17 (outbreaks in other units were declared over Dec. 31);
- Village of Riverside Glen in Guelph, five staff, declared on Dec. 17; and
- Wellington Terrace in Aboyne, six staff, declared on Dec. 12.
An outbreak declared on Dec. 20 affecting one resident and three staff at St. Joseph’s Health Centre (long-term care) in Guelph was declared over on Jan. 5.
WDGPH spokesperson Danny Williamson says the best thing residents can do to help prevent outbreaks is “keep cases low in the community.
“For the most part, COVID-19 comes into LTC facilities from the community. Fewer cases in the community means fewer chances for this population to be exposed.”
Williamson explained elderly people are vulnerable to getting COVID-19 and suffer more severe outcomes if they get it – so the rising numbers in facilities is concerning.
The majority of deaths in Ontario in the first wave of the pandemic were residents of long-term care and retirement homes.
Williamson said healthcare providers in long-term care, other healthcare providers and members of vulnerable populations will be among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine, starting this week.
WDGPH received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine – 975 doses – on Jan. 5.
A facility outbreak is defined by public health officials as one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19.
An outbreak is declared over 14 days after symptoms began in the most recent case and when no other cases are suspected.