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Outbreaks declared at two Barrie long-term-care homes

Seventh resident at Bradford home dies; Testing ramping up at impacted facilities, says Dr. Gardner
Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 4.23.59 PM
Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, delivers an update to the media on April 20. Screenshot

The health unit has now declared outbreaks at two Barrie long-term care facilities.

The agency confirmed today a single staff member at IOOF Seniors Home and another at Woods Park Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19. Each facility houses about 170 residents.

As well, a seventh resident at Bradford Valley Care Community, a woman in her 90s, has died from COVID-19. There are now 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the outbreak at the long-term-care facility, including seven residents who have died. There have been 10 staff members confirmed positive (three do not live in the region) and 30 residents have tested positive.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the region, said as per the recommendations of the province the health unit will be working with the facilities to make sure every resident and staff member get tested for COVID-19.

However, Gardner said that would take time.

The health unit will declare the outbreak after just one positive test result in a staff member or resident. So far, no lab-confirmed cases have been reported among the residents.

The health unit is now reporting a total of 218 cases in the region, but that doesn’t include six cases previously reported in individuals that have since moved outside of the region.

Gardner  said “their statistics follow them.”

There have been 21 new cases reported in the region since Monday.

“We are still continuing to get cases in the range of 10 cases per day,” said Gardner. “We’ve been very fortunate in that we haven’t had a big surge in our health care system to date.”

He acknowledged there have been devastating effects in long-term care homes including at one in the region and said it’s important to protect long-term care homes.

“We are having an effect and we are flattening the curve, but we have to be very careful because it could all come back,” said Gardner. "I don't expect a massive surge out of this, I would expect a limited surge if it's going to happen."

Of the 218 cases listed on the health unit website, 109 people have recovered, 15 people have died, and 12 people are hospitalized. There have been 77 cases attributed to community transmission, 51 to close contact, and 52 to travel. 

In Midland, the health unit has reported five cases and four of those have recovered while Penetanguishene has had two cases confirmed with one having recovered.

Barrie has the highest number of cases of any community in the Simcoe Muskoka region. There have been 60 cases confirmed, and of those 26 have recovered, three are still in hospital and two have died.

There were seven new cases reported today (April 22) including three men in their 20s, three women in their 20s and a woman in her 60s. Four of the cases were close contact transmission and three were community-acquired.

Orillia has had 10 cases confirmed, two people have died and the remaining eight have recovered.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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