Midhurst/October 13, 2020 - As a serious COVID-19 outbreak continues at the Simcoe Manor long-term care home in Beeton, the County of Simcoe is partnering with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to further ensure the safety of the home's residents and staff.
Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing RVH to temporarily manage Simcoe Manor for 90 days. This follows last Friday's order by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directing RVH to oversee infection control response to the outbreak which was declared October 2nd. The County of Simcoe, which operates the home, will continue to provide day-to-day care to the home's residents. Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston also continues to provide support.
“The County of Simcoe requested support in further controlling the outbreak, and we thank the Health Unit and our partners at RVH for stepping up and assisting our staff and residents at Simcoe Manor," said Warden George Cornell. “This is a global pandemic that has greatly impacted seniors facilities across Ontario and the world. The County has a long-standing partnership and relationship of collaboration with RVH, and their medical oversight and additional expertise gives us the best opportunity to assist our impacted residents at Simcoe Manor."
The safety of residents and staff are the County's top priority and, since the outbreak was declared, the County has implemented extensive safety measures including cancellation of visits (with the exception of those designated as compassionate visitors and caregivers), rigorous screening, residents are all safely quarantined in their rooms where they are served meals and monitored closely, increased PPE and sanitization, cohorting of staff to designated units, enhanced medical on-site assessments, heightened nutritional care, and other strict outbreak protocols. Over the weekend an RVH “Rapid Response Team" was deployed to Simcoe Manor and is now working closely with the County of Simcoe and the Health Unit to take further action, including enacting the following:
- Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and workplace safety assessments
- IPAC training, protocols, practices and audits
- Comprehensive screening
- Further deep clean of all rooms and high-touch areas, including further cleaning resources
- Enhanced supply and management of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) and safety equipment
- Further restricting visitation to compassionate visits only
Additionally, an Emergency Operations Centre, jointly led by RVH and the County of Simcoe, has been convened and an Action Plan is being developed to further ensure resident and staff safety.
To-date, 34 of Simcoe Manor's residents and 20 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Tragically, four COVID-positive residents of the home have died. Residents are being tested routinely and all who test positive are safely quarantining in their rooms while being closely monitored by staff; employees who have tested positive are self-isolating and monitored by public health.
Simcoe Manor has been in direct contact with residents' families and an information line has been activated 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 705-812-3877. Families can also send a message to their loved ones in the home by emailing email@example.com. The Public is encouraged to share messages of support through social media using the #StrongerTogether.
“Our staff continue to work hard for our residents whom they consider family, and to stop the spread of the outbreak within our home," said Jane Sinclair, General Manager of Health and Emergency Services, County of Simcoe. “This is a terrible and insidious virus, often spreading without signs or symptoms. The County is known as a provincial leader in long-term care and seniors services and this partnership allows us to focus on the care and support of our residents in need, while RVH provides additional medical oversight and support, as well as expertise on infectious disease control measures. As we continue to face staffing and resource challenges in the entire LTC sector, we welcome this support with open arms."
“Since the pandemic began, RVH's Rapid Response Team has provided support to 19 area long-term care and retirement homes, including infection control assessment, training and audits, screening, leadership and staffing," says RVH President and CEO Janice Skot. “The safety and protection of patients, long-term care home residents, their families, leaders, staff and our community is RVH's highest priority and we're pleased to lend our infection control expertise and skilled staff and physicians to support the County of Simcoe in battling this outbreak."
About County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
RVH is a regional health centre serving almost half a million people in Simcoe Muskoka. It provides specialized regional programs, including, cancer, cardiac, child & youth mental health and renal care. For more information visit rvh.on.ca.
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County of Simcoe:
Manager, Public Relations, County of Simcoe
Manager, Corporate Communications, RVH