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Almost 60 COVID-19 cases, five deaths now reported at Simcoe Manor long-term care home

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The County of Simcoe says there’s now a total of 37 residents and 22 staff who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the Simcoe Manor long-term care home in Beeton, Ont.

Five residents have died as a result of COVID-19 at the nursing home, with the most recent death happening on Tuesday.

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Earlier this week, Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Care issued an order, appointing the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to temporarily manage Simcoe Manor for 90 days.

This follows last week’s order by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, which directed RVH to oversee infection control response to the outbreak, which was declared on Oct. 2.

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“The County of Simcoe requested support in further controlling the outbreak,” Simcoe County Warden George Cornell said in a statement Tuesday.

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“This is a global pandemic that has greatly impacted seniors facilities across Ontario and the world. The county has a long-standing partnership and relationship of collaboration with RVH, and their medical oversight and additional expertise gives us the best opportunity to assist our impacted residents at Simcoe Manor.”

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Over the Thanksgiving long weekend, RVH deployed a rapid response team to Simcoe Manor to take further action to support the home, including conducting infection prevention, control and workplace safety assessments, deep-cleaning of all rooms and high-touch areas, enhancing the supply and management of PPE, among other things.

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“Since the pandemic began, RVH’s rapid response team has provided support to 19 long-term care and retirement homes, including infection and control assessment, training and audits, screening, leadership and staffing,” RVH president and CEO Janice Skot said in a statement Tuesday.

“The safety and protection of patients, long-term care home residents, their families, leaders, staff and our community is RVH’s highest priority and we’re pleased to lend our infection control expertise and skilled staff and physicians to support the County of Simcoe in battling this outbreak.”

In order to combat COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes across Ontario, the province has begun issuing management orders, providing emergency funding, staffing support and expanded testing, among other things.

To date, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued three mandatory management orders and facilitated 11 voluntary management contracts between Ontario hospitals and nursing homes.

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