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Sudbury long-term care home declares COVID-19 outbreak

One staff member diagnosed, no cases in residents to date

St. Joseph’s Villa long-term care home in Sudbury confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 on Sunday, following the diagnosis of one staff member. 

The individual is said to no longer be experiencing symptoms and is currently self-isolating at home. 

This is the first case of COVID-19 linked to a long-term care or retirement home in the area. There are currently no cases among residents. 

The Ministry of Health, however, requires an outbreak be declared with a single laboratory-confirmed case in a resident or staff member. 

“St. Joseph’s Villa is working closely with Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) to ensure all measures are in place to protect staff and residents,” said Jo-Anne Palkovits, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in a press release. 

“None of the residents who were in contact with this employee (are) symptomatic and all are being tested. Residents continue to be isolated in their individual rooms.”

In response to the outbreak, additional control measures have been put in place and will be overseen by an outbreak control team on top of the proactive policies already in place to prevent any potential spread to the facility's vulnerable population. 

These measures include the following:

  • All St. Joseph’s VIlla residents will be tested for COVID-19
  • All St. Joseph’s Villa staff who were in close contact with the case will be tested for COVID-19
  • All admissions to St. Joseph’s VIllage have been put on hold
  • Visitor restrictions in effect since March will be upheld
  • Staff and residents will continue to practice physical distancing within the facility 
  • Staff will continue to be screened at the beginning and end of shifts, including a temperature check
  • All staff and essential visitors will be required to wear a face mask
  • Residents will be assessed three times a day for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature checks

Whenever PHSD receives reports of a positive COVID-19 test result, staff are required to follow-up with the individual to discuss the results and explore possible exposure. 

With this information staff begin the process of contact tracing, to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with the individual during the period of time they may have been infectious. 

Close contacts are then advised of important direction such as testing, self-monitoring, work-related direction, or self-isolation, depending on the circumstances. 

Earlier in the day PHSD confirmed the 42nd case of COVID-19 in the area to date, whether this includes the St. Joseph's Villa staff member has yet to be determined. Of these reports a total of 33 individuals have recovered from the virus to date and one has died as a result. 

As of 12:15 p.m. on April 19, there have been 2,294 tests conducted by PHSD.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate, then contact an assessment centre or use the online self-assessment tool to see if you need to seek further care.

For more information on how Public Health conducts follow-up after a positive test resultself-isolation, self-assessment, and assessment centres visit or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

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