The district of Muskoka has issued the following statement:
Further to our update yesterday, we were informed today by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) that one additional staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. Since learning that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on September 19, 2020, testing of all staff and the residents in the home area where that employee worked was initiated this week. As reported yesterday, all resident tests were negative.
At this time the Pines remains in outbreak status and all resident visits remain suspended. Enhanced protocols for the cleaning of high-touch surfaces and resident living areas also continue.
Based on the recommendation from Public Health, all residents in the home will be re-tested. This is currently being organized by our Nursing Leadership Team. Twice monthly testing of all staff will resume next week.
The staff member who has tested positive is not experiencing any symptoms and is self-isolating at home. The staff member who tested positive on September 19, 2020 continues to remain at home recovering. Our thoughts and best wishes remain with those staff members and their families. We want to thank all of our staff, residents and families for their dedication, support and patience during these challenging times.
The District remains focused on protecting residents and staff at the Pines Long-Term Care Home from COVID-19 and extensive measures are being taken to ensure the health, safety of wellbeing of residents and staff remain in place.
Regular updates continue to be provided to residents, their families, and staff. Twice weekly scheduled updates to the community will begin next week.
Timeline of events:
The Pines Long-Term Care experienced an initial outbreak of COVID-19 after one employee tested positive for COVID-19 on August 30, 2020. Following that initial positive case:
- One resident tested positive for COVID-19 on September 2, 2020.
- This first outbreak involving one staff member and one resident was deemed resolved by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on September 16, 2020.
- An additional staff member tested positive on September 19, 2020. This result came from bi-weekly testing of all staff members to support early detection of any spread of the COVID-19 virus in the home. That case is believed to come from community transmission and not from the initial outbreak.
- Today, an additional staff member has tested positive.
How can the community help? Take extra care
According to SMDHU, community spread of the COVID-19 has sharply risen to numbers not seen since the spring and they are asking the public to shrink their social circles as much as possible to those within their own household and to be cautious to reduce their exposure within the community.
SMDHU has provided the following steps to keep everyone safe, including those returning to school and those living in long-term care homes:
- Shrink your close contacts (the people you can get close to such as hugging and touching) as much as possible to only those people within your own household and those whose well-being requires or is dependent on it.
- Think carefully about how often and where you go out to in the public, and try to limit to what is essential and avoid crowded spaces.
- Limit social gatherings, and keep the number of people in your gatherings and get-togethers to 10 people or less indoors, or 25 or less outdoors; with people outside of your household, practice physical distancing, or wear a mask if you can’t.
- Parents should screen children for symptoms of COVID-19 every day before they leave for school; if a child has even one symptom, they should stay home and self-isolate, and get tested.