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COVID-19 outbreak at H.J. McFarland home declared over

SEPT. 13 – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, which began on Aug. 8, is over.

Enhanced COVID-19 screening and testing procedures continue. General visitors are allowed to visit, up to a maximum of four visitors (including caregivers) per resident at a time indoors. Masks must still be worn when visiting.

AUG. 8 – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home affecting residents of the Whispering Pines and Maplewood Walk units.

Affected residents will be closely monitored and re-tested for COVID-19 on a set schedule and placed on contact and aerosol precautions.

This is the second outbreak within a month. The first, declared July 3, was declared over July 28.

H.J. McFarland Home is closed to admissions.
General visitors are temporarily prohibited. Residents or their substitute decision-maker must identify one designated caregiver or support worker who is permitted to visit for the duration of the outbreak.

Visitors must conduct a rapid antigen test and get a negative test result before entering the Home and wear appropriate personal protective equipment for their visit.
All staff members working at the Home and the residents are being tested and monitored for signs and symptoms.
Enhanced housekeeping measures are in place, including extra cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and common areas.
All visitors must participate in testing regardless of vaccination status.
Status updates on the outbreak will be sent directly to the families of residents.

* * *

UPDATE JULY 28 – The outbreak of COVID-19 at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, which began on July 5, has been declared over by Hastings Prince Edward Public health.

Enhanced COVID-19 screening and testing procedures will continue at the home. Admissions have resumed and general visitors are allowed and the limit of one designated caregiver per resident has been lifted. Masks must still be worn when visiting.

UPDATE JULY 20: H.J. McFarland Memorial Home continues to respond to a facility-wide outbreak of COVID-19.

“Although we are not out of the woods yet, we have seen positive progress over the last several days,” said Kyle Cotton, Executive Director, H.J. McFarland Memorial Home.

Since the start of the outbreak, 23 residents have tested positive; to date, 14 cases have been resolved. Cotton reports affected residents have experienced mild symptoms, with many starting to rebound and feel better.

Family members of residents who test positive for COVID-19 will continue to receive regular updates from staff at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home.

To help limit the spread of infection, the home continues additional safety measures, including:
– H.J. McFarland is closed to admissions.
– General visitors are temporarily prohibited. Residents or their substitute decision-maker must identify one designated caregiver or support worker who is permitted to visit for the duration of the outbreak.
– Visitors must conduct a rapid antigen test and get a negative test result before they may enter the home, and they must wear appropriate personal protective equipment for the duration of their visit.
– All staff members and residents are being tested and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
– Enhanced housekeeping measures are in place, including extra cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and common areas.
– All general visitors, support workers, and essential caregivers must participate in on-site COVID-19 surveillance testing regardless of vaccination status.

UPDATE JULY 7: Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has declared a facility-wide outbreak of COVID-19 at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home.

The residents who have tested positive are exhibiting mild symptoms. Their families will continue to receive regular updates from staff at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home.

JULY 3: H.J. McFarland Memorial Home has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak after one resident and one staff member tested positive. The outbreak went into effect Sunday, July 3.

The Lilac Lane unit is under quarantine, and all residents have been placed on contact and aerosol precautions. Lilac Lane residents will be closely monitored and re-tested for COVID-19 on a set schedule.

For confidentiality reasons, H.J. McFarland Memorial Home cannot share any identifiable or additional information about the positive cases.

To help limit the spread of infection, the home has implemented several additional safety measures, including:
– H.J. McFarland is closed to admissions.
– General visitors are temporarily prohibited. Residents or their substitute decision-maker must identify one designated caregiver or support worker who is permitted to visit for the duration of the outbreak.
– Visitors must conduct a rapid antigen test and get a negative test result before they may enter the Home, and they must wear appropriate personal protective equipment for the duration of their visit.
– All staff members working at the home and the residents are being tested and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
– Enhanced housekeeping measures are in place, including extra cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and common areas.
– All general visitors, support workers, and essential caregivers must participate in on-site COVID-19 surveillance testing regardless of vaccination status.

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  1. Scott Stewart says:

    As someone trained and experienced in seeking data from public and non-public sources (investigator), analyzing the data and making decisions based on what is a available, I remain frustrated the past 2.5 years of receiving partial details or having to seek out/uncover information that should readily be provided to the public. Information that is legally not protected as it does not identify individuals.

    My father is a resident at McFarlands (he does not know about this comment) and I received a first automated call Sun. July 3 at 1:24pm indicating 1 Resident and 1 Staff tested positive for Covid; identifying the “outbreak” in the Lilac Lane wing. The HPE Health Unit webpage when ultimately updated indicated a “facility wide outbreak”. The Provincial site, updated each Thursday, does not appear to reflect the initial July 3 “outbreak” designation or the additional “12?” cases which likely would have been known by McFarlands in time to update the province.

    My father thought he and others were given a PCR test Sunday or Monday which should provide results by at least Wednesday. However, a subsequent automated call was received Fri. July 8 at 12:42 pm. The call stated there were now 14 positive cases but did not indicate: a) if all cases were isolated to Lilac Lane, b) omitted to restate the initial staff positive or note if there were further staff cases either among the 14 per the press release or in addition to the 14 reported. While speaking to my father shortly after this 2nd autocall, a staff member (who should know) came into the room and in a brief response to my father said there are 15 Covid cases. So, again, as a trained investigator, I question if the “15th” case is the original staff member and McFarlands are excluding public disclosure of staff cases or is there a further case or are staff members not given enough clear information about which Residents and Staff have tested positive.

    As the Essential Caregiver for my father, it is important to understand the number and location of cases (by wing & not individual room number) and on which day(s) the cases are confirmed since each new case effectively resets a 14 day “room confinement” and this information will allow family members to analyze the spread of cases in order to make any applicable care decisions.

    AND given the excessively limited staff available; who’ve been under pressure the past 2.5 years, understanding the number of staff now testing positive (if more than the first one reported) can guide actions and expectations of Residents and their Essential Caregivers.
    LTC Homes, including McFarlands, and the Province (it’s Health Units by extension) continue to release incomplete Covid information.
    Lastly, all communications regarding Covid “outbreaks” speak of enhanced cleaning efforts, which is ok, but the research and peer reviewed publications clearly show Covid is primarily contracted through the air. Covid is airborne!

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