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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
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Niagara Long Term Care outbreak is easing up
Niagara Long Term Care residence in Niagara-on-the-Lake

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Niagara Long Term Care residence in Niagara-on-the-Lake appears to almost be over.

While the home remains in outbreak status, executive director Chris Poos said the third floor of the home is now COVID-free.

The Wellington Street care home is still dealing with one active resident case (with 36 resolved) and four active staff cases (33 resolved). Two residents with COVID-19 have died during the outbreak while palliative.

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

"We remain in regular contact with public health," he said. "Our staff and resident PCR swabs from (Monday) are with St. Joseph’s (hospital in Hamilton) and we expect to have the results within 24 to 48 hours."

Poos said the home is continuing with all outbreak protocols which include residents being isolated to their rooms and receiving in-room meal service.

Group activities and communal dining are on hold and increased cleaning is happening in all high-touch areas and on surfaces, he said.

General visitation and resident social absences are not allowed now, however fully vaccinated designated essential caregivers may visit one at a time and must pass active screening, receive a negative rapid test and wear full PPE including a respirator mask. 

Poos said residents are receiving rapid and PCR tests, and staff are being rapid tested daily as they enter the home.

"This practice will continue throughout this outbreak," he said.

"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," he said.

"We are well stocked with all PPE, most staff have returned to work, and the home is stable."

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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