128 Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19, Outbreaks At 3 Long Term Care Homes, Thursday Morning

Thursday April 2nd, 2020

Posted at 9:10am

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Last updated: Thursday April 2nd, 11:08am

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit has announced 36 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex as of Thursday, bringing the local total to 128.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed says a third long term care home — Lifetimes on Riverside — has an outbreak.  The outbreak includes one positive case of COVID-19 in a staff member. The facility has implemented outbreak management and the WECHU health inspection team has been in contact with them for support.

The Health Unit announced two confirmed cases on Wednesday within the staff population of Country Village Homes in Woodslee, and one confirmed case of COVID-19 within the staff population of AMICA in Windsor.

Dr. Ahmed says there are both staff and patients who are being investigated for exposure to COVID-19.  “I believe there are residents who are currently being investigated right now and we’re waiting for some of the results on those symptomatic patients,” he said.

Dr. Ahmed says the Health Unit is treating the situations at the facilities as outbreaks in order to try and contain the spread.

“If we know that there are respiratory symptoms or someone who has an infection, the likelihood of others contracting [COVID-19] is much higher,” he said. “So right now we are treating it as an outbreak that has spread in the long term care home.”

“All those control measures that we are trying to put into place is to ensure that we can contain it.”

Dr. Ahmed says once an outbreak is declared, the Health Unit works directly with the homes to put control measures into place such as identifying those who are sick and isolating sick patients where necessary.  He said Health Inspectors ensure that all of the protective and preventative measures are in place.

Dr. Ahmed said the facilities are responsible to inform residents, staff and families of the outbreak.

“Historically that’s done by the homes to the staff and others involved,” he said. “The homes usually take the lead in informing the families and the people who have their loved ones in the facility and they do it in a timely manner.”

The Health Unit said Wednesday that residents and staff at both AMICA and Country Village Homes had been notified.

As of Thursday morning, the Health Unit says 1,237 people have been tested and 268 tests are still pending.

“I continue to urge you, please do not go outside if you don’t have to,” said Dr. Ahmed. “People who are not sick, and do not have any symptoms: spend time with your family, do not meet with anyone who doesn’t live with you, and break the chain of transmission by not contracting the disease in the first place and then not spreading it to others.”

Provincial Guidance & Restrictions from Wednesday
The province is providing guidance, recommendations and restrictions on a regular basis to public health. As of March 17th, 2020, under the provincial Emergency Act the following orders are in place until April 15th:

  • Mandatory under the federal Quarantine Act, anyone traveling outside of Canada should self-isolate for 14 days upon return. If symptoms develop during self-isolation, including fever and/or cough call public health at 519-258-2146 ext. 1420.
  • Prohibition on organized public events and social gatherings over 5 people (funerals can have up to 10)
  • Closure of all communal or shared public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario including gardens, parks, sports fields beaches, etc.
  • Closure of all Ontario Parks to visitors
  • Closure of all licenced child care centres
  • Closure of all public schools
  • Closure of all public libraries
  • Closure of all facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • Closure of all private schools as defined in the Education Act
  • Closure of all Theatres and movie theatres
  • Closure of all concert venues
  • Closure of all Casinos (until further notice)
  • Closure of all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
  • Closure of all non-essential workplaces
  • Long Term Care, Retirement Facilities, Hospice, and residential care facilities only permit essential visitors and actively screen visitors for symptoms and travel history, excluding entry if failed screening
  • Suspension of all non-essential travel outside of Canada
  • Physical distancing (2 Metres)

Orders are being actively enforced.

Be advised that there is currently a state of emergency declared for the City of Windsor and the County of Essex

Recommendations from Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health from Wednesday
Dr. Wajid Ahmed supports all of the recommendations and restrictions provided by the Government of Ontario for the City of Windsor and County of Essex. As well Dr. Ahmed recommends:

  • All residents returning from travel outside of Canada self-isolate for 14-days upon return, including essential workers returning from non-essential travel.
  • Seniors and high risk individuals should avoid any non-essential trips and stay home as much as possible.
  • Commuters that cross to Detroit for work purposes should consider work from home options with their employer where possible and regularly self-monitor for any symptoms including taking their temperature.
  • Employers in Windsor and Essex should make arrangements for their employees to work from home whenever possible. If work from home is not an option, please ensure that your workplace follows the 2 meter physical distancing measure to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees and the community.
  • Healthcare workers especially those who work in long term care homes and are employed in multiple settings should work with their employers to restrict their work to one institution (whenever possible) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Physicians should screen clients over the phone and refer as appropriate.
  • Implement your emergency preparedness plan to ensure you have what you need in case of self-isolation.
  • Wash hands with soap & water thoroughly and often.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
  • Stay home when you are sick; call your health care provider for advice and take the online self assessment tool for COVID-19.

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