Advertisement

Hamilton public health issues compliance orders to two care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks

Public health has issued compliance orders to two Hamilton care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks after recent inspections found breaches in infection and prevention control measures. Left: Ken Mann / 900 CHML, Right: Google Street View

Two Hamilton care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks have been issued compliance orders after recent inspections at the facilities found they weren’t following infection and prevention control (IPAC) measures.

Hamilton Public Health issued a Section 22 order to Heritage Green Nursing Home on April 22 and another to Evergreen Manor on May 5.

Heritage Green’s outbreak, which was declared on April 10, has infected a total of four residents and six staff.

An April 21 inspection at the Stoney Creek facility reported a number of breaches of IPAC measures, including:

  • staff not being trained to properly use and store PPE, as well as having inadequate training and education on donning and doffing PPE
  • failing to ensure staff and residents remain physically distanced
  • not screening everyone who entered the facility for COVID-19
  • inadequate signage posted throughout the facility about hand hygiene, capacity limits, PPE use, and physical distancing
  • failing to have clear signage on doors indicating “droplet and contact precautions”
  • not having appropriate disinfectant available in common areas

Another inspection took place a week later and determined that the facility still wasn’t properly screening people going in and out of the building, and staff in the break room was not physically distancing.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Hamilton high-rise outbreak shows need to follow COVID-19 protocols while supporting neighbours: MOH

Meanwhile, the outbreak at Evergreen Manor on Cathcart Street has spread to 18 residents and two staff since it was declared on April 29.

During an inspection on April 30, public health reported a total of eleven “non-critical” infractions, including:

  • not having symptomatic residents isolated
  • not separating those at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19 from others
  • not having sleeping arrangements that allow for physical distancing of two metres or more
  • failing to have clear signage on doors indicating “droplet and contact precautions”
  • not having enough PPE on-site available to staff and essential visitors
  • inadequate supply of environmental and disinfection products, as well as an inadequate plan for enhanced environmental cleaning
Click to play video: '‘Why did nobody act?’ Experts say Ontario ignored warnings about nursing homes before COVID-19 second wave' ‘Why did nobody act?’ Experts say Ontario ignored warnings about nursing homes before COVID-19 second wave
‘Why did nobody act?’ Experts say Ontario ignored warnings about nursing homes before COVID-19 second wave – May 3, 2021

Both facilities have been ordered to “immediately” take a number of actions, including implementing active COVID-19 screening of all residents, staff, and essential visitors, maintaining PPE supplies and ensure staff members are trained on how to use them, implementing a policy for indoor mask-wearing in common spaces, and improving its plans for outbreak management, staff shortages and enhanced environmental cleaning.

Story continues below advertisement

Global News has reached out to the operators of Heritage Green and Evergreen Manor, but did not hear back by the publishing deadline.

Read more: National Steel Car in Hamilton closes down amid COVID-19 outbreak

In an email, a spokesperson for Hamilton public health told Global News that the city works with the owners and operators of facilities to ensure that they follow IPAC practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, which includes inspections.

“When items are not corrected to meet best practice by the required time, legal action may occur to obtain compliance through a Section 22 Order,” wrote James Berry, communications officer on behalf of public health.

“Repeat infractions noted during follow-up assessments or during any future assessments may lead to legal action.”

The Section 22 orders indicate that the operators can appeal by requesting a hearing within 15 days of receiving a copy of the order, but if they fail to comply, they may be fined up to $25,000 per day, with the potential for further legal action if necessary.

The outbreaks at both facilities involve the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant, which has been confirmed in 25 of Hamilton’s 36 active outbreaks.

Heritage Green was the site of Hamilton’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care home and also reported the city’s first deaths related to the virus back in March 2020.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Canada’s top doctor says B.1.1.7 variant could lead to more severe illness' Canada’s top doctor says B.1.1.7 variant could lead to more severe illness
Canada’s top doctor says B.1.1.7 variant could lead to more severe illness – Mar 23, 2021

Sponsored content