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St. Joe’s investigating COVID-19 outbreak at Hamilton long-term care home

St. Joe’s investigating COVID-19 outbreak at Hamilton long-term care home - image
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A Hamilton long-term care home that has the second-largest COVID-19 outbreak in the city has received a compliance order from public health.

Hamilton Continuing Care has received a Section 29.2 order that requires it to let staff from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton respond to the outbreak by investigating, monitoring, and ensuring the facility is complying with infection prevention and control measures.

A COVID-19 outbreak at the facility that was declared Oct. 31 has infected 45 people and claimed the lives of six residents.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for public health said staff from. St. Joe’s will be at the home on Wentworth Street South to help manage the outbreak due to concerns over its ongoing failure to comply with measures to limit the spread of the virus.

“There was ongoing evidence or transmission with ongoing concerns, despite education as evidence by site inspections,” said Jacqueline Durlov in an email.

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Read more: Number of COVID-19-related deaths at Hamilton’s Chartwell Willowgrove rises to 14

The city’s public health department had also recently issued a compliance order at Chartwell Willowgrove long-term care home in Ancaster, where COVID-19 has infected 80 people — including 53 residents, 25 staff, and two visitors — and led to the death of 15 residents.

Durlov said they’ve been in daily contact with Chartwell Willowgrove, and they are complying with the Section 22 order that they received last week.

There are currently outbreaks at eight long-term care homes and four retirement homes in Hamilton.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, said the city is working on managing those outbreaks and trying to figure out how to keep the virus from spreading into those facilities, but said there’s only so much that can be done if cases are on the rise in the broader community.

Read more: Coronavirus: Hamilton reports 71 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more outbreaks

“Our experience in these homes reflects our experience in the community,” said Richardson. “If we don’t have the opportunities for people to get infected in the community, they’re not going to bring it into long-term care and into congregate settings, and we’re not going to see those outbreaks.”

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She said it comes down to those homes not letting their guards down and maintaining vigilance over infection prevention and control.

“You’ve got to be on this, in terms of a home and following infection prevention and control measures, and ensuring they have staff there — it has to be very, very tight.”

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