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Cassellholme declares COVID-19 outbreak

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Cassellholme has declared a COVID-19 outbreak.

In a letter to families who have a relative in the long-term care home, officials said the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit notified the facility that a resident, a man between 60 and 79 years of age, had tested positive.

“As a result, Cassellholme will be in a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak,” CEO Jamie Lowery stated. “The resident who tested positive is asymptomatic (showing no symptoms), and is feeling well. The resident has been tested a second time and we expect to have the results in a day or so. The resident will remain on isolation and staff will continue to wear the required PPE to provide care.”

“We want to assure families that the risk of infection in our Home remains low,” Lowery added. “Based on test results as of today, over 200 staff have tested negative for COVID-19.”

The Ministry guidelines dictate that an outbreak be declared after there is a single laboratory-confirmed case.

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“Our staff is working with Cassellholme to provide public health direction as we wait for the remainder of the 205 residents and 330 staff test results to come back,” said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health. “We know that older individuals are vulnerable, and it is important that we do our best to keep this population safe.”

Health unit officials say they had tested symptomatic residents of long-term care homes in the district, prior to the release of the provincial plan, and all results came back negative.

Mayor Al McDonald says the outbreak further highlights the need to stay home.

“Our long-term homes are probably the most vulnerable people we have,” he said to Moose FM. “I do know that they have put all the protocols in place for the last month and a half so they’re doing what they can.”

“If it was to spread in long-term homes, you just have to look around the province and see what has happened there,” McDonald continued. “That’s why it is so, so important to stay at home if you can.”

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