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Deadly outbreak over at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

The outbreak led to seven patient deaths in the Penetanguishene hospital's geriatric unit
2020-03-12 ap
Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care entrance sign. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday

A deadly outbreak that left seven patients dead at a Penetanguishene hospital is now over.

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, announced Wednesday the outbreak on its Horizon Program has ended.

“I cannot share my appreciation enough to our staff who have worked so hard and made sacrifices these last weeks to manage the outbreak and continue to provide quality care and compassion to our patients under such difficult circumstances,” Waypoint CEO Carol Lambie said in a post on the facility’s website.

All totalled, the outbreak at the Penetanguishene facility’s Horizon Program that was linked to a COVID-19 variant of concern included 10 confirmed positive patient and 15 positive staff cases. There were also seven deaths on the unit that’s home to geriatric inpatients.

Waypoint declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the Horizon Program for geriatric psychiatry that's located in the Bayfield Building Jan. 22 in consultation with the health unit.

There have been no additional staff or patients with positive test results on Horizon or anywhere in the hospital reported since February 15.

“I again express our deepest condolences and support to those who lost loved ones and also wish to share our thanks for the outpouring of gifts and heartfelt messages to patients and staff from their colleagues, our partners, community and local businesses,” Lambie said.

And despite the outbreak’s end, the hospital will continue to restrict visitors as a result of the region’s current grey-lockdown status and the variant of concern in the community.

A previous outbreak at the hospital's Awenda Program (forensic units) was contained to two patients and one staff testing positive. It was declared over Jan. 23.

Since the pandemic began last March, Waypoint has reported 21 positive patient cases, 31 positive staff cases and seven deaths.