The Niagara Long Term Care residence on Wellington Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake has a new COVID-19 outbreak.
Niagara Region public health declared the outbreak Monday, as cases continue to increase rapidly across the region.
Chris Poos, executive director of Niagara LTC, said all residents are being tested for COVID-19 after one resident and two staff members who tested positive.
“We are seeing tremendous spread of the COVID-19 virus through the area and following an exposure we had a resident from the third floor test positive on the rapid test,” Poos said in an email to The Lake Report.
In January 2021, a COVID outbreak at Niagara Long Term Care Residence led to 11 deaths and more than 120 infections.
As of Thursday, Niagara-on-the-Lake had 118 active cases, and the fourth-highest active case rate (62.5) per 10,000 people in the entire region. The region reported 340 new COVID cases Thursday and 2,734 total active cases.
“Out of an abundance of caution we have implemented all outbreak precautions on the third floor and due to the high rate of community spread, we proactively placed the second floor on outbreak protocols,” Poos said Tuesday.
“Additionally, we have two staff members who tested positive through rapid testing. They are self-isolating at home. One has been confirmed through a PCR test and the other is awaiting their result. As an extra precaution, all residents are being PCR tested.”
Poos said the home's administration is in daily contact with staff, residents and families and “doing everything we can to ensure their safety, including all residents are isolated to their rooms, receiving in-room meal service, and being cared for on contact droplet precautions. Group activities and communal dining are suspended and one-to-one programming is being offered.”
General visitation is currently not permitted in the home. Fully vaccinated essential caregivers are allowed to visit but must pass active screening, receive a negative rapid test and wear full PPE, including a respirator mask.
All staff must also pass active screening and receive a negative rapid antigen test daily prior to entering the home and are cohorted to specific home areas for their shifts, Poos said.
“We are well-stocked with all PPE and staff are working hard to provide great care to our residents. My hope is that everyone follows the guidelines set out by public health and that more people in the community will get vaccinated, including receiving their boosters when appropriate.”