Hastings County has been advised by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health that Hastings Manor has been declared to be in a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak.
The County was advised Thursday morning of a second lab-confirmed positive test of COVID-19 for an employee who works at Hastings Manor. Manor staff and officials from Public Health have been working to identify residents and staff who might have been in close contact with the employee.
The employee last worked on March 31.
“As with any facility outbreak of an infectious disease in our region, we are working closely with Hastings Manor to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “Together we will take all possible steps to protect Hastings Manor residents, staff, and the community.”
“Keeping residents and employees safe and healthy is our first priority,” stated Warden Rick Phillips. Our staff are working closely with Public Health in this effort.”
“This will be an incredibly difficult time for our residents in the Manor, their families, and our employees who are doing their level best to care for them,” said Phillips. “Our thoughts and best wishes for speedy recovery are with the employee who has tested positive and those employees now off on 14 days of isolation.”
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), in a separate media release, noted a staff member at another local long-term care facility, Hallowell House, has also tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, only two staff members at Hastings Manor and one staff member at Hallowell House have been confirmed as positive cases. These individuals, as well as close contacts, are self-isolating at home.
HPEPH does not typically release statements about these situations until the employer has had the opportunity to notify their staff and provide their own statement. However, HPEPH is legally required to post notice of outbreaks in local long-term care homes and retirement homes, the media release noted.
As the Ministry of Health has declared that even a single case of COVID-19 in a long-term care or retirement home is considered an outbreak, any and all occurrences of COVID-19 in a long-term care home will be included in the facility outbreaks notices.
Outbreak control measures have been instituted at both facilities and all staff members have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms. Staff have undertaken enhanced cleaning of the home, including extra housekeeping staff to do more frequent cleaning, especially for high touch areas such as doorknobs, handrails, common areas, staff rooms and seating areas.
“This reinforces the reality of COVID-19 in our community and I urge individuals to do everything they can to prevent its spread, recognizing that many are at higher risk from the virus. Stay home, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, practise physical distancing and wash your hands frequently,” stated Oglaza.
Lab-confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 are provided with the same requirement – to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, including from others in your home – monitor symptoms, keep HPEPH informed of any changes in health or symptoms, and wear a mask if you must leave home to seek medical attention.
Visit the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca for current information and answers to many questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions after reviewing web content can call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm and weekends from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.