Ottawa Public Health has declared the rising number of cases at the Promenade retirement residence in Orléans an outbreak after five more residents in the building were deemed "presumptive" in the past 48 hours.
That brings the tolal number of cases to at the residence to eight. A husband and wife living at the facility died 24 hours apart on Sunday and Monday and a third person is still being treated.
The remaining residents are being confined to their rooms for at least 14 days. Meals are being served by tray service and they can take part in mobility exercises in their doorways once a day. The exercises, which are meant to keep the residents active, are lead by a staff member once a day.
The five residents who have started exhibiting symptoms have all been tested for COVID-19. The restults take 24 to 48 hours to complete. Following provincial protocol none of the other residents are being tested even though reports indicate all 11 staff members still workijng at the residence are being tested. Four of those tests have so far come back negative.
When asked why Ottawa Public Health is not testing all of the residents, Ottawa's chief medical officer of health Dr. Ver Etches said there is no policy in Ontario to test people who are asymptomatic. "That isn't an approach that is done in Ontario," she replied during a daily tele-conference with members of the press on Tuesday.
According to the provincial policy for outbreaks– usually applied for influenza – once the virus at the root of an outbreak has been identified, everyone who is symptomatic is presumed to have it. But in situations where there is a flu outbreak, residents aren't confined to their rooms for two weeks or more.
COVID-19 outbreaks have now been declared at three senior care facilities in Ottawa. the others being the Maplewood Retirement Community on Industrial Avenue, the Park Place Retirement Residence in the west end and the Garden Terrace long term care residence in Kanata.
A recent survey by the Globe and Mail found that there were 26 long-term-care homes in Ontario with at least one case of COVID-19 and that 17 residents in serniors care facilities had died of the virus. Twelve of those deaths are associated with the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon where 35 of the 65 residents were exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus as of Monday.
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