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Vaccinated seniors get COVID-19, show no symptoms

Posted: April 8, 2021

(April 01, 2021)

By: Wayne Lowrie, Brockville Recorder & Times (Print Edition)

Despite being vaccinated against COVID-19, 10 residents of the Rideau Ferry Country Home have tested positive for the virus but all are asymptomatic, according to the retirement home.

Amy Morrow, director of care and general manager at the 44-bed home, credited the vaccine for the fact her residents don’t show any symptoms of the virus.

“It proves the vaccine works,” Morrow said Wednesday.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit declared the home in outbreak on March 21 after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Morrow said the virus spread among the 10 residents during the week afterward.

She said the Rideau Ferry home has worked hard during the past year to keep COVID out of its home and it’s disappointing to have it surface now.

“It’s stressful,” she said, speaking for the home staff. “They’re all putting their lives at risk to maintain their care requirements.”

“It’s scary but we’re here to do it because we care,” Morrow added.

Health officials say people remain susceptible to the virus for about two weeks, give or take, after receiving their COVID shot. Morrow said she didn’t want to comment on when the residents received their shots, citing privacy concerns.

News of the retirement home cases came Wednesday as the health unit reported its seventh straight day of declining COVID numbers.

There were 77 active cases in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, which is 12 fewer than reported on Tuesday as people in Lanark County recovered from outbreaks three and four weeks earlier.

Three of the active cases were new but 15 people recovered from the virus that had been centred in Lanark.

The recoveries mark a seven-day trend of declining numbers in the health unit that reached its record high last week with 140 active cases.

Western Lanark, where an outbreak at the Perth Curling Club three weeks ago quickly spread throughout the surrounding community, had 21 active cases on Wednesday, down 12 from the previous day.

(The decline is partly attributable to the health unit’s decision to separate the 10 retirement home cases from its geographic breakdown.)

Eastern Lanark, centre of an earlier outbreak, had seven active cases on Wednesday.

As the Lanark cases subsided, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville caught up to their northern neighbour.

Grenville had 24 of the United Counties’active cases, which was six fewer than Tuesday, while Western Leeds reported nine in the region that covers Rideau Lakes, Westport, Gananoque and Leeds and the Thousand Islands.

The Brockville district that covers the city, Front of Yonge, Elizabethtown-Kitley and Athens, recorded six cases, the same as it has for the past three days.

One COVID patient was in hospital on a ventilator.

The outbreak at Perth Community Care was over, leaving Rideau Ferry Country Home with its 10 active cases as the only home in outbreak mode.

The Upper Canada District School Board reported that none of its schools were in outbreak. The outbreaks in its four Lanark County schools last week have been declared over.

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario said its outbreak at St. John Catholic Elementary in Perth is over but St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Smiths Falls has been closed because of an outbreak.

Academie catholique Notre-Dame in Kemptville, a school in the French Catholic board, remains in outbreak.

In contrast to the local numbers, COVID-19 in Ontario continued to rise. The province reported 2,333 new cases on Tuesday and 15 more deaths.

Premier Doug Ford hinted on Wednesday at new lockdown measures to combat the third wave that is threatening hospitals’intensive care capacity. The premier said he would have an announcement on Thursday.

According to the Ontario Health Coalition, the provincewide numbers are now about double what they were on March 1 when we had a seven-day average of 1,098 cases.

The Ontario rates now are higher than at any point in the first wave that peaked at 571 cases on April 4, 2020.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Tuesday, however, that the spring break will go ahead on April 12 as planned, although Ford later indicated that the government might be rethinking the break.

Ottawa recorded 124 new cases on Wednesday, continuing a trend of triple-digit increases.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit was also part of the upward trend. It reported 351 active cases on Wednesday including 97 in Cornwall.

On our immediate eastern boundary, North Dundas had 32 cases while South Dundas reported 22.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health had three new cases on Wednesday, according to Ontario Health figures. wlowrie@postmedia.com

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