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COVID-19: 2 new cases at Empress Gardens, 6 at Trent University; 6th workplace outbreak in Peterborough

Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported at Empress Gardens Retirement Residence in Peterborough. File

Empress Gardens Retirement Residence in Peterborough reports two new COVID-19 cases as the outbreak continues.

Executive director Renee Nixon said late Wednesday one asymptomatic resident — who was vaccinated — tested positive along with a staff member who had received their first vaccine dose since the outbreak was initially declared on March 22 after another staff member had tested positive.

Since then, two residents have died in hospital due to COVID-19 complications, the first on the Easter weekend  and the the latest on April 8. The previously eight reported COVID-19 cases at the home have been all resolved and all tested negative since April 5, Nixon said Wednesday.

Read more: COVID-19: Health unit closes Peterborough barbershop for remaining open during shutdown order

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She says in the two new positive cases, both individuals had tested negative on six COVID-19 tests since the outbreak was declared. The resident also had no known exposure to previous positive residents in the 87-bed home on Charlotte St. in the downtown. Nixon said the resident is now in the specially segregated area of the home, with specifically designated staff.

“We find this test result curious and are looking to public health for their guidance/interpretation,” stated Nixon.

Nixon says Peterborough Public Health is managing the situation as the new cases appear to be “community-acquired illness.”

“The staff member has not had direct, close contact with any residents,” she said.

COVID-19 case data 

On Thursday afternoon, the health unit reported an additional 18 new cases of COVID-19 and another workplace outbreak in its jurisdiction, which includes Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.

According the health unit’s COVID tracker at 4:33 p.m., there are now 139 active cases of COVID-19, up from 132 reported on Wednesday.

The health unit also reported that of its 1,073 cumulative cases (one additional case added from a previous day), 310 are variant of concern cases, down from 313 reported 24 hours earlier. The first confirmed variant of concern was reported on Feb. 23.

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Of the health unit’s total cases since the pandemic was declared, 922 are now declared resolved (up from 910 on Wednesday) — approximately 86 per cent.

Also on Thursday, the health unit reported its sixth workplace outbreak but no details were provided. A workplace outbreak declared on March 31 was also declared resolved.

Since the pandemic was declared, the health unit has dealt with 227 COVID-19 cases associated with 38 outbreaks. There are seven active outbreaks for the health unit:

  • Workplace #6 in Peterborough: Declared Thursday, no case details were provided.
  • Workplace # 5 in Peterborough: Declared Tuesday, no case details were provided.
  • Congregate living facility # 3 in Peterborough: Declared Sunday, no case details provided.
  • Workplace #4 outbreak: Declared Friday in Peterborough County. No case specifics provided.
  • Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School: Declared April 4 — remains at three cases as of Thursday morning, according to the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. Unchanged.
  • Champlain College Annex at Trent University: Declared April 3 with three cases.
  • Empress Gardens Retirement Residence: Declared March 22 after one employee tested positive. Two residents have died in hospital due to COVID-19 complications.

Other school cases in the health unit’s jurisdiction:

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  • St. Alphonsus Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough — two new cases reported late Wednesday. “The individuals have been isolating at home and they did not attend school while they were infectious,” stated the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board in a letter to parents and guardians.
  • One case each at Kenner Collegiate, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary and St. Catherine Catholic Elementary, all in Peterborough and at North Shore Public School in Keene — all unchanged since Wednesday.

Other COVID-19 data for Thursday:

  • Close contacts: 421, up from 408 on Wednesday.
  • 36 cases have required hospitalized care since the pandemic was declared, unchanged since Wednesday. Six required the intensive care unit (up one since Wednesday)
  • Fleming CollegeReports one case related to its Sutherland Campus in the city. The college says the individual was last on campus on April 6 and the case is deemed “low-risk.”
  • Trent University: Reports at 4:30 p.m. seven active case in student residence — up from one reported on Wednesday. The university states “not all active cases may be related to the current outbreak at Champlain College Annex.”
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre: Reports 17 COVID-19 inpatients, down from 24 on Wednesday. There have been 40 patient transfers from other areas, unchanged since Tuesday.
  • Death toll: 12 since the pandemic was declared, two linked to outbreak at Empress Gardens Retirement Residence; one to the Severn Court Student Residence outbreak in Peterborough; three associated with a November 2020 outbreak at Fairhaven long-term care in Peterborough.
  • More than 48,100 people have been tested for COVID-19.
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