Advertisement

‘It’s a war zone’: Coronavirus deaths at Bobcaygeon, Ont., nursing home climb to 9

Coronavirus outbreak: Minister says more advance screening, isolation needed for long-term care homes
WATCH: Minister says more advance screening, isolation needed for long-term care homes

Nine residents of a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., have died of COVID-19 complications since March 25, according to the facility’s medical director.

Dr. Michelle Snarr has called the Pinecrest Nursing Home a “war zone” since an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease was declared on March 18. The nine deaths are presumed cases of COVID-19, she said, noting that seven of the deaths occurred since Friday.

“It’s a war zone — more than one nurse has said that,” Snarr said Monday morning. “I feel like a field commander in a war.”

READ MORE: 2 long-term care home residents in Bobcaygeon, Ont. die after COVID-19 outbreak

“We started off with 65. We’ve had nine die so far,” said Snarr.

“There are patients dying right now; more are going to die.”

Story continues below advertisement

Snarr said she emailed families on March 21, warning them they may have to decide on sending a loved one to the hospital or placing them on a ventilator — the latter of which Snarr said would likely cause a patient to “suffer a great deal,” adding that they “may not survive.”

“I cannot begin to imagine what the abysmal quality of life would be for a person in a nursing home — that frail — and if they survived a ventilator, the quality of life would just be abysmal,” she said.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Snarr thanked the public for the outpouring of support and said a “plea for compassion is needed” for the situation, which she describes as “beyond horrifying … heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching.”
“I can’t put it into words. It’s just devastatingly horrible. So, so, so sad,” she said.
Story continues below advertisement
The health unit has called the outbreak the largest in the province. The facility is located about 50 kilometres north of Peterborough.
Global News has reached out to Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office numerous times for comment on this story, however the minister’s office has declined to comment, saying it would have more details Monday afternoon.
On Monday afternoon, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit confirmed the new seven COVID-19-related deaths. As of Monday, 24 staff at the nursing home have been confirmed positive for COVID. Test results are pending for 10 other staff, the health unit stated
There have also been two additional deaths at the home since March 18 that were not related to COVID-19, the health unit issued in a release. Two people died who did not live at Pinecrest, but one of the cases is related to the nursing home.In total the health unit has 41 confirmed COVID-19 cases: 33 confirmed cases in the City of Kawartha Lakes (27 related to Pinecrest) along with eight cases in Northumberland County.
COVID-19: Health Unit says it couldn’t verify reports of deaths at Bobcaygeon, Ont. nursing home over the weekend
COVID-19: Health Unit says it couldn’t verify reports of deaths at Bobcaygeon, Ont. nursing home over the weekend

Mary Carr, Pinecrest administrator, says residents have been isolated in the home and staff with symptoms have been sent home for self-isolation to help limit the spread of the virus.

“Our team members are dedicated professionals, trained in infection, prevention and control strategies and they will continue to focus on keeping our residents, families and team members safe,” said Carr in an email to Global News. “We actively monitor and screen our residents to determine if they are showing any of the related symptoms and take necessary precautions if they do.

“We also actively screen all our team members every time they enter our building, and they are encouraged to self-monitor at home and are not permitted to come to work if they are feeling unwell.”

Carr said limited visitation is only for essential visitors.

“Our residents and staff have shown incredible resilience during this difficult time and we truly appreciate the support we have received from the community,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

More to come.

COVID-19: Positive case confirmed at Peterborough long-term care facility
COVID-19: Positive case confirmed at Peterborough long-term care facility