Roumeliotis releases statement on long term care home outbreaks

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis released the following statement on Sunday, May 3, 2020 following a Cornwall Newswatch story on Saturday, May 2 detailing an outbreak at Woodland Villa in Long Sault.

To date we have tested 8 Long term Care (LTC) homes and the results have been coming in steadily with most being negative. We plan on testing the remainder of all our EOHU region LTC’s this coming week.

So far from our new screening testing, we have had one LTC with positive cases, aside from Pinecrest. Note that current guidelines deem an institution to be in outbreak with one or more cases. As a result, we now have 2 LTC’s declared in outbreak which are on our web site:

  • Pinecrest (13 cases)
  • Woodland Villa (less than 5 cases, asymptomatic)

Like the ministry, for confidentiality reasons, we will be releasing the numbers of positive cases in an institution only if there are 5 or more cases.

Note that institutional # of cases we post daily on our web site include a cumulative count of all institutional outbreaks, including LTC, retirement homes, group homes and other congregate living centers. Note that the Prescott Russel group home COVID-19 outbreak is now declared over.

We continue to work with our LTCs in outbreak to ensure that they have adequate staffing, PPE and infection control practices in place; our 4 hospitals are ready to send staff where and when required.

It is also important to stress that even if all tests are negative in an institution, this is a snapshot at a given time. As we are testing all staff and residents (most of which have no symptoms at the time of testing), it is possible that someone who initially tested negative may later on develop symptoms and would required to be retested for COVID-19. This is why it is essential that all facilities practice the necessary stringent infection control precautions at all times regardless of testing results.

I will provide more details at my media briefing tomorrow.