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Proactive COVID-19 testing at LTC homes

Proactive testing for COVID-19 in long-term care homes in outbreak resulted in confirmation of three new cases at Hastings Manor over the weekend.

“As we continue our outbreak management support and surveillance, additional staff and residents of Hastings Manor have been monitored, and tested when appropriate,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

Recent confirmation of additional cases of COVID-19 in the facility has escalated the testing and monitoring process, he said.

There are now 31 lab confirmed cases in Hastings Prince Edward County, and 241 probable reported cases. Hallowell House in Picton confirmed one staff member tested positive on March 15. The HPEPH April 16 outbreak report states COVID-19 was confirmed April 2.

HPEPH will also be launching a new online reporting tool early this week, which will identify how many confirmed and probable cases in the region are associated with residents or staff of long-term care homes.

In alignment with the province’s emphasis on improving access to testing, and continued efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in long term care homes, HPEPH will be taking the following steps if an outbreak of the virus is declared in any local long-term care or retirement facility:
Test any residents with symptoms
Test close contacts of any positive cases – even if asymptomatic
Consider testing of all residents in floor/wing/living area – if appropriate
Consider facility wide testing – if appropriate

“This step-wise approach ensures local testing resources are used as effectively as possible, by ensuring that individuals who are most at risk for exposure to COVID-19 have prompt access to testing, and the system maintains the capacity to process tests and provide results quickly and efficiently,” he said.

Additional information about COVID-19 is available at hpePublicHealth.ca. Any individuals who still have questions or concerns after reviewing the website are invited to contact the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803. The information line is open weekdays 8:30 am – 6:30 pm, and weekends 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Filed Under: Local News

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