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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
Local News
Two deaths as Niagara Long Term Care COVID outbreak continues
The Niagara Long Term Care Residence. (Richard Harley)

Two residents who were in palliative care and contracted COVID-19 at Niagara Long Term Care have died, as an outbreak continues at the Wellington Street care home.

The outbreak has seen 58 cases, with 13 resident cases and 13 staff cases still active. Sixteen resident cases and 16 staff cases have been resolved, executive director Chris Poos said in a statement Tuesday.

"Sadly, over the last week two residents have passed away," Poos said.

"The cause was not directly related to COVID-19, but they did contract the virus while palliative."

He said the home is in regular contact with public health officials and continues to hold vaccination clinics.

All residents and staff were PCR tested on Tuesday and the home is working to expedite the results, Poos said.

The home is continuing to follow all outbreak protocols, which include all residents being isolated to their rooms, receiving in-room meal service, and being cared for on contact droplet precautions.

Group activities and communal dining are on hold and one-to-one programming is being offered and encouraged.

Fully vaccinated designated essential caregivers are allowed to visit one at a time, but must pass active screening, receive a negative rapid test and wear full PPE including a respirator mask (N95, CAN95/99). 

General visitation and resident social absences have been cancelled. 

Poos also said increased cleaning is happening in all high-touch areas and on surfaces, and that PPE is available and well-stocked in the home.

"All staff will continue to receive rapid tests each shift and a PCR test twice per week until further notice," he said.

"Residents are receiving rapid and PCR tests and staff are rapid tested daily as they enter the home. This practice will continue throughout this outbreak."

The facility is in contact with staff, residents and families through email updates, phone calls and virtual town halls.

"We continue to encourage virtual visits with residents and many residents have designated essential caregivers that are allowed to come into the home and participate in the care of their loved one. staff are working hard to provide great care to our residents," Poos said.

"The home is stable, staffing is good and we are well-stocked with supplies. (Monday's) snowstorm was certainly a challenge and we are incredibly grateful to our staff for once again putting the home and our residents first, and making it into work."

A year ago, in January 2021, before vaccines were available, a COVID outbreak at the facility led to 11 deaths and more than 120 infections.

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