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COVID-19 outbreak confirmed in Sudbury long-term care home

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A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a Sudbury long-term care home.

Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre confirmed the outbreak at their Villa long-term care home because of a confirmed positive case involving a staff member.

“St. Joseph’s Villa is working closely with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to ensure all measures are in place to protect staff and residents,” said Palkovits. “We want to assure staff, patients, and families that the risk of infection in our facilities remains low.”

“None of the residents who were in contact with this employee is symptomatic and all are being tested,” she continued. “Residents continue to be isolated in their individual rooms. We are relieved to hear our staff member is no longer experiencing symptoms and is safely self-isolating at home.”

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Officials say Ministry direction is an outbreak is to be declared with a single laboratory-confirmed case in a resident or staff member.

“This is the first instance of a confirmed COVID-19 case being linked to a long-term care or retirement home in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “There are no cases among residents in the Villa.”

“With the declaration of an outbreak, additional control measures are put in place and overseen by an outbreak control team,” Sutcliffe added. “In this instance, this includes the priority testing of identified residents and staff members, in addition to the already stringent COVID-19 protection action in place as required by provincial orders and guidance.”

Officials say St. Joseph’s Health Care has proactive policies and evidence-based practices in place to prevent any potential spread of infection. All residents are isolated in their rooms until further notice. Officials add other measures have been put in place, including:

  • All St-Joseph’s Villa residents are being tested for COVID-19
  • All St-Joseph’s Villa staff who were in close contact of the case are being tested for COVID-19
  • All admissions to St. Joseph’s Villa have been put on hold
  • Visitor restrictions have been in effect since the beginning of March
  • Staff and residents are practising physical distancing within the home
  • Staff screening occurs at the beginning and end of shifts, including temperature checks and all staff and essential visitors wear masks
  • Residents are being assessed three times a day for symptoms of COVID-19. This includes temperature checks.
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