COVID-19 outbreak at downtown Toronto shelter grows to 43 cases

Feb 13 2021, 6:44 pm

A COVID-19 outbreak at a downtown Toronto shelter has spread to over 40 staff members and residents.

The city confirmed on February 12 that 43 people have now tested positive for coronavirus at Seaton House since an outbreak was first declared on January 21.

Shelter clients who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those who are high-risk close contacts, have been sent to a dedicated isolation site to recover.

The outbreak has not been linked to any virus variants, the city said, noting that it is “actively working” to contain the outbreak.

A number of infection prevention and control measures have been implemented at Seaton House, including symptom screening at shelter entrances, mandatory masks for all staff members, enhanced cleaning, and site-wide testing.

Before the pandemic, Seaton House had over 500 person capacity, but it was reduced to 200 to allow physical distancing.

A COVID-19 outbreak is declared in a shelter when there have been two or more positive virus cases within a 14-day period that have an epidemiological link to the site.

To date, there have been 149 COVID-19 outbreaks in shelters and congregate settings in Toronto, eight of which are currently active.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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