Almost 50 long-term care homes in Ontario have an active coronavirus outbreak

Oct 1 2020, 4:37 pm

Ontario is reporting that 48 long-term care homes currently have an active COVID-19 outbreak as of Thursday morning.

According to the province, an active outbreak indicates that the home has at least one lab confirmed case of coronavirus, for a resident or staff, and the local public health unit or the home has declared an outbreak.

As the virus can spread quickly, especially in vulnerable populations, having just one case in a long-term care facility can be high-risk for residents.

In Toronto, Fairview Nursing Home currently has 38 residents and 10 staff with the virus. With only 108 beds, more than one-third of the facility has the virus.

And at Norwood Nursing Home in Toronto, almost one third of the residents have contracted the virus. With 60 beds total, 17 residents have tested positive as well as six staff.

In total, there are 104 confirmed positive cases across the province amongst residents and 133 amongst staff.

To date, 1,869 residents and eight staff have died.

Government of Ontario

As Ontario is currently in the second wave of the pandemic, on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford announced that effective October 5, visitors to long-term care homes will be restricted to staff and essential visitors only, which includes essential caregivers.

In Toronto’s 10 long-term care homes, the City said it will ensure there is enhanced preventative measures like: enforcing enhanced active screening early; including taking temperatures twice daily for anyone entering the LTC homes; enforcing masking protocols at all times; enhancing infection, prevention and control (IPAC) practices and procedures including staff education, high-touch cleaning and disinfection.

There will also be active surveillance and precautions, including isolation of residents if “appropriate and necessary” and maintaining physical distancing at all times.

Staff members are tested every two weeks and do not come to work or return to work until they are symptom-free.

“The health, safety and well-being of residents, clients, families and staff members in the City’s long-term care homes remains at the highest level of our pandemic priority list,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The City’s long-term care homes continue to be at the forefront of advanced COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures, often implementing these protocols before they become the industry standard.”

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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