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Bobcaygeon nursing home only the first of COVID-19 outbreaks

Posted: May 22, 2020

(April 24, 2020)

By: MyKawartha.com

After spending weeks in what some staff described as a ‘war zone’, Pinecrest Nursing Home is finally gaining a foothold in its COVID-19 outbreak.

Between the time the outbreak was declared on March 20 and April 9, 29 of the Bobcaygeon long-term care home’s 65 residents died as a result of the coronavirus.

There has fortunately been no further loss of life at the nursing home (as of April 23) since then and administrator Mary Carr is pleased to report that our residents are stable and doing well.

“Pinecrest continues to engage with our hospital, public health, and provincial Ministry partners to ensure we have the adequate staffing resources required to maintain high quality care. We are grateful to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit for their continued direction and guidance as we get closer to putting this outbreak behind us,” stated Carr in a media release on April 22.

It was the same day the Ontario Health Coalition released a 70-page report tracking 1,127 confirmed staff, 1,936 residents/ patients and 720 additional confirmed cases – for whom public health authorities did not specify whether they are health care staff or patients – for a total of 3,783 people who have been infected with COVID-19 in health care facilities.

According to the most recent data provided by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, there have been 137 cases in its catchment area.

Of the 117 reported for the City of Kawartha Lakes, 70 have been in long-term care; one of which is linked to an outbreak at a facility in a neighbouring health unit jurisdiction. There have been no cases reported for long-term care homes in Haliburton and Northumberland counties.

The Coalition began tracking and publicizing the spread of COVID-19 in health care settings on March 19. The Coalition has compiled a tracking list of 283 health care and congregate care facilities with outbreaks. The 3,783 confirmed cases in health care settings represent almost a third (30.9 percent) of the total reported for Ontario up to the afternoon of April 21.

“The spread in health care and congregate care settings continues to widen at an alarming pace,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director. “The outbreaks in hospitals continue to increase in number but, according to publicly available information, they appear to be contained more quickly and effectively than those in long-term care, retirement homes and congregate care/living settings.”

Meara notes that, since the organization’s last tracking report on April 7, both the number of outbreaks and positive cases in health care settings have increased significantly.

“Tragically, the number of deaths that we have been able to find from outbreaks in health care settings has increased almost five-fold since April 7,” states Meara, noting statistics, however disconcerting, do little to identify the personal impact. “We can create a picture of the spread with the numbers, but the real human toll of these outbreaks is beyond words.”

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