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Jul. 24, 2021 | Saturday
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One new COVID death in NOTL long-term care as cases appear to ease
Niagara Long Term Care Residence in NIagara-on-the-Lake has started doing rapid testing of residents and staff. The facility reported no new COVID deaths this week, but one person has died of COVID at Pleasant Manor in Virgil. (Richard Harley)

Resident dies at Pleasant Manor and hard-hit Niagara LTC starts rapid testing of residents and staff

 

Cases of COVID-19 in Niagara-on-the-Lake's long-term care homes have slowly started to fall, but facilities continue to take all precautions.

At Niagara Long Term Care Residence on Wellington Street, executive director Chris Poos said several cases have been resolved in the past few days.

The 124-bed home had 56 active resident cases, with 22 resolved, and no new deaths, as of Tuesday. Positive cases among staff totalled 14, with 23 resolved, Poos told The Lake Report. So far five people from the facility have died from COVID-19-related issues.

The home has also introduced rapid testing, Poos said, which should help manage future spread.

Pan Bio Rapid testing "produces results in 15 minutes, which gives us real-time information to assist us in managing this outbreak, such as cohorting residents."

Poos said emergency medical service will be attending the home on Monday, Feb. 1, to assist in "additional infection prevention and control education" and that Niagara public health officials have been to the home and approved the home's infection prevention practices.

The facility is awaiting confirmation of a date for the second vaccination clinic.

"We look forward to the time when all our residents staff, and essential caregivers have received the vaccine," Poos said.

"We remain in regular contact with public health, along with other health system partners, and continue our ongoing weekly testing for staff and previously negative residents. We are in regular contact with all residents, families and staff regarding the status of COVID-19 in our home, along with twice-weekly family town halls."

He said infection prevention and control measures include twice daily screening of residents and staff for any signs of COVID-19 and regular testing.

"Residents are isolated to their rooms, receiving in-room meal service and are being cared for by staff on contact droplet precautions. We have appropriate staffing levels and all staff are wearing full personal protective equipment at all times, which is well-stocked in the home," he said.

"We remain very grateful to our families, staff, health system partners, and the community for the tremendous support."

At Radiant Care's Pleasant Manor in Virgil, CEO Tim Siemens said residents of the long-term care facility and its apartments have all been given their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The home remains in outbreak, with one active resident case and three residents recovered, Siemens said Tuesday. There is also one active staff case and five cases have been resolved.

Those five recovered employees are back to work and we are very grateful for that, he said.

Meanwhile, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family" of the resident who died, Siemens said.

Long-term care residents were vaccinated on Jan. 20, he said, while apartment tenants were vaccinated this past Sunday.

A total of 206 people have received the vaccine, including 185 residents.

At Pleasant Manor, 13.7 per cent of its 41 long-term care residents refused the vaccine and another 1.4 per cent were deferred for a medical reason. At Niagara Long Term Care Residence, 12.2 per cent of its 124 residents declined the vaccine and none were deferred for medical reasons. At Upper Canada Lodge, 1.5 per cent of its residents refused the vaccine.

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