Midhurst/June 23, 2020 – We confirmed with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) that a resident at Simcoe Manor has tested positive for COVID-19. The resident was transported to hospital on Sunday, June 21 with potential COVID symptoms. The hospital tested the patient for COVID-19, and we received confirmation from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit that the patient was positive for the Coronavirus.
Under the current Public Health guidelines for COVID-19, one positive case of either a staff member or resident requires the long-term care home to declare an outbreak for the facility. We have therefore declared an outbreak and are working closely with the staff of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to monitor this situation and ensure all outbreak precautions are in place.
All staff are continuing to wear masks and protective eye wear at all times and we continue with our diligence to screen everyone entering the building at the beginning of their shift as well as before they leave at the end of the day. We are proceeding with testing all residents at Simcoe Manor today, will continue to screen them twice a day, and are closely monitoring for any potential symptoms.
To further extend protection measures for residents and staff, we are working closely with our Medical Director and our Management Team has increased our already extensive infection control protocols. The following additional precautions have been put in place:
- Staff are assigned to one unit (cohort) to reduce activity across the Home and all units are closed;
- For those few staff who must travel between Home Areas, they will be required to wear full PPE (mask, gown, gloves and eye protection) that is changed between units;
- Extensive contact tracing is being completed;
- All staff and residents are being tested for COVID-19 within the next 48 hours;
- All resident activities (bus rides, patio visits etc.) have been temporarily cancelled;
- All family visits (except when deemed essential) are postponed; and
- All new resident admissions have been temporarily placed on hold during this outbreak.
All staff at Simcoe Manor were tested between June 11 and 12 and all tests were negative at that time. Resident were all tested between April 28 and 30 and were all negative. In addition to the immediate re-testing of all staff and residents as a precautionary measure, we will continue to test all staff at all four (4) of our long-term care homes and seniors housing twice per month as per the most recent testing guidelines by Public Health Ontario.
Due to our strict precautions and protocols, we are hopeful that this single case of COVID-19 was caught early and will be limited.
The COVID-19 fight in Ontario Long-Term Care Homes:
Approximately half of all long-term care homes in Ontario report having been affected by COVID-19, with numerous homes now having come out of their outbreak status. It is important to note that many of these homes have effectively enhanced precautions due to COVID positive results without any serious impact on their residents or staff.
Municipally owned and operated Homes have been the most successful in their fight against COVID-19 among all for-profit and non-profit homes in this province.
From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County has prioritized the health and well-being of our most vulnerable residents and through our extensive health protocols, we have and continue to do everything possible to minimize the risk to our residents and staff and limit their exposure to the coronavirus.
Our thoughts are with everyone concerned and we want residents, families and staff to know that we are here to support them through this challenging time. We appreciate our communities' thoughts and well wishes as we all work together to keep our homes safe.
General Manager of Health and Emergency Services
County of Simcoe
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch