An average of only 65 per cent of long-term care staff working in Ottawa long-term care homes have received vaccinations against COVID-19, a survey by CBC reveals, leaving residents in some facilities to face further isolation and confinement as homes grapple to contain outbreaks, mainly involving staff.
The low staff vaccination rate is a serious concern for residents’ families, many of whom had hoped that once their loved ones and caregivers were vaccinated, there would be more freedom.
“Where’s public health?” asks Betty Yakimenko, head of the family council at Madonna Care Community in Orléans, where just 51 per cent of workers have received the vaccine.”
What it all boils down to is our family members are now still stuck in their rooms, yet again.– Betty Yakimenko, head of family council at Madonna Care Community
Yakimenko added: “Something needs to be changed. This is ludicrous. What it all boils down to is our family members are now still stuck in their rooms, yet again.”
Over the week of March 15, CBC Ottawa surveyed all 28 long-term care homes in the city, asking each home for the percentage of staff and residents vaccinated.
CBC compiled this research because information about staff vaccination rates is not public and could not be provided by Ottawa Public Health. OPH’s dashboard information was used to compare outbreaks, deaths and total case numbers.
Two homes refused to provide CBC Ottawa with information: Villa Marconi and Manoir Marochel.
An analysis of the data showed a stark contrast in the number of residents vaccinated versus staff across the city, and revealed that some homes have experienced a remarkable difference in success in vaccinating staff.
Eight homes had fewer than 53 per cent of staff vaccinated against COVID-19. Five of those homes are currently in outbreaks. A select few homes have had success getting staff vaccinated, with five homes seeing an uptake of over 85 per cent.
In general, resident vaccination rates have been exceedingly high, with every home reporting at least 87 per cent of residents vaccinated.
The home with the lowest rate is Centre D’Accueil Champlain in Vanier, a city-run facility, where only 43 per cent of the 230 staff members have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
The facility with the highest number of workers vaccinated is Osgoode Care Centre, a non-profit facility in Ottawa’s rural south. It’s seen a 95 per cent uptake among its 150 staff members. However, it is also experiencing its first outbreak of the pandemic, with one staff member with COVID-19.
WATCH | ‘Something needs to be changed’:
7 outbreaks in LTC home since last April
At Madonna Care Community — where 47 residents, two staff members and the spouse of a worker died of COVID-19 in 2020 — only 51 per cent of workers have received the vaccine, compared to 96 per cent of the residents by early February.
Madonna, operated by Sienna Senior Living, is in its seventh outbreak since last April, once again forcing residents to isolate in their rooms.
“The fact that only 51 per cent of staff are vaccinated is a huge concern … it’s been a continuous outbreak and it’s all staff related,” said Yakimenko, whose mother, Elsie Stadler, has not contracted COVID-19.
Close to half the staff at Madonna have tested positive for COVID-19 since last spring, according to Ottawa Public Health (OPH).
We continue to work with health-care unions to encourage vaccination for all our team members.– Extendicare statement
Yakimenko, who is an essential caregiver and has already been vaccinated, doesn’t understand why uptake isn’t higher.
“If the staff don’t look after themselves, then who’s going to look after the residents?” said Yakimenko.
A spokesperson for Sienna told CBC it plans to hold staff town halls to provide “opportunities to learn about the vaccine and ask questions.” Sienna is also making arrangements to provide transportation to vaccinations.
The city and OPH have plans underway to make vaccinations available at nursing homes in the region.
“An on-site clinic is scheduled for this Friday at the Centre d’Accueil Champlain home for staff and residents,” said Dean Lett, director of long-term care at the city.
‘People are confused’
CBC spoke to two personal support workers at Ottawa homes where only about half the staff have been vaccinated.
Both PSWs said co-workers fear there’s not enough proof vaccines are safe.
“People are confused,” said one worker from Extendicare’s West End Villa, where 47 per cent of staff members have been vaccinated.
In a statement to CBC, Extendicare said: “We continue to work with health-care unions to encourage vaccination for all our team members.
“However, until mass vaccination is completed and herd immunity is achieved in the community, the virus will continue to circulate and represent a threat to our homes.”
Access to vaccination delivery is also a concern for Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.
In some cases, staff had to find their own transportation to vaccination clinics and seek appointments on their days off, she previously told CBC.
“That staff group has been very severely exploited. They are often racialized. They have a lot of distrust of what’s being told to them and what’s happening.”
Province won’t mandate vaccinations
The provincial government estimates 74 per cent of long-term care workers across Ontario have received one vaccination dose.
Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto, had told CBC’s Ottawa Morning that Ontario’s rate of vaccinations among nursing home staff is “embarrassingly low.”
“I don’t really want to blame anything on the staff here, because, frankly, Ontario’s support for its staff and its long-term care and retirement homes hasn’t honestly been terrific,” said Sinha.
In an interview with CBC, the minister of health and long-term care, Merrilee Fullerton, said since nursing home staff were the first to be offered the shots, they “might have had some vaccine hesitancy.
“Everyone who’s doing the vaccine is doing a tremendous job looping back to the homes to see if there are additional staff that would like to be vaccinated now that they understand more,” said Fullerton.
Yakimenko thinks the provincial government should make the vaccine mandatory.
The minister says that’s not something she plans to do at this point.
Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up nearly 4 in 10 cases in B.C., data shows – Global News
New data from the BC Centre for Disease control shows that the highly-transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has grown to nearly four in 10 cases in the province, up from fewer than one in 10 just two weeks before.
The data comes as the province reported more than 100 new cases in a 24-hour period for the first time in five weeks.
The BCCDC released the data Friday, which covers the week of July 11 to July 15.
B.C. reports 112 new COVID-19 cases, four new deaths
Out of 376 cases recorded that week, the Delta variant, first identified in India, made up 39 per cent of cases, while the Gamma variant, first identified in Brazil, made up 40 per cent. The Alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., made up 17 per cent of cases.
Last week, the BCCDC reported the Delta variant made up 33 per cent of cases, while the week before it was just eight per cent.
Research has found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, but only when people receive both doses.
Partially vaccinated people remain at a much greater risk of contracting it or becoming seriously ill.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that 96 per cent of new cases reported in B.C. between June15 and July 15 were among people who weren’t fully vaccinated.
As of Friday, more than 2.68 million people — 58.1 per cent of those eligible and 52.2 per cent of the population — have been fully vaccinated.
Could Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive slowdown fuel another surge?
There were strong regional variances in the prevalence of Delta.
In the Vancouver Island Health Region, all of the 14 cases reported over the week in question were found to be the Delta variant.
In the Interior Health Region, which has seen growing case numbers and lagging vaccination rates, Delta made up a whopping 74 per cent of the 122 cases over the week reported.
More than half of the new cases reported on Friday were in the Interior Health region.
Vancouver Coastal Health had the second highest prevalence of Delta, at 33 per cent, followed by the Fraser Health region at 15 per cent.
Officials said 97 per cent of all samples tested were at least one of the known variants of concern.
The BCCDC cautions that the data reported on Friday is subject to change due to a lag in sequencing some samples.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for July 24, 2021 – CTV Edmonton
Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.
- The number of active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa continues to creep up as vaccination slows
- A new outbreak in Barry’s Bay has led to nearly two-dozen close contacts and forced businesses to close
- Ontario reported 192 new cases on Friday as the seven-day average jumped slightly
COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):
- New COVID-19 cases: Seven new cases on Friday
- Total COVID-19 cases: 27,768
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 3.9
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 0.5 per cent (seven day average)
- Reproduction Number: 1.28 (seven day average)
Who should get a test?
Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:
- You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
- You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
- You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
- You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
- You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
- You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
- You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
- You require testing 72 hours before a scheduled (non-urgent or emergent) surgery (as recommended by your health care provider);
- You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort travelling out of country for medical treatment;
- You are an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period;
- You are a farm worker;
- You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
- You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:
There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx
- The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
- Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday
COVID-19 screening tool:
The COVID-19 screening tool for summer camp children and staff. All campers and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily.
Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath
Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion
Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is back above 40 for the first time in two weeks, as the city’s vaccine administration pace slows down.
Ottawa Public Health reported seven new cases of the virus in Ottawa on Friday. There were no new resolved cases for the second straight day, so the number of active cases has climbed to 41.
It’s the most since July 9, when there were 43 active cases in the city.
A new outbreak of COVID-19 in Barry’s Bay, Ont. has resulted in two closed businesses and nearly two-dozen high-risk contacts.
The Renfrew County health unit is reporting three new confirmed cases that started with a visit from southern Ontario.
Twenty-one high-risk contacts now have to isolate, a fresh example that Canada is not yet out of the pandemic.
Ontario is reporting another jump in the number of new COVID-19 cases as health officials log just over 190 new infections and the seven-day average rises.
The province confirmed 192 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, which comes after officials logged 185 new infections on Thursday.
Before that, the province reported case numbers below the 150 mark for three days.
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