THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) and St. Joseph’s Care Group confirm that an outbreak has been declared at Hogarth Riverview Manor (HRM), fourth floor, in Thunder Bay.
“Residents of long-term care homes are a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to COVID-19. It is important that we act swiftly when a resident or staff has symptoms or has a positive test as in this case,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health. “I am reassured that many measures were already in place and appropriate precautions were taken to reduce the likelihood of virus spreading.”
In recent testing, one staff member was found to be positive for COVID-19. At this time, no residents or other staff members have been identified as having symptoms.
Consistent with provincial guidelines, the outbreak declaration for COVID-19 in a long-term care home is made when one staff or resident is found to be positive for COVID-19. This low threshold for declaring an outbreak ensures that outbreak management measures, including increased infection and control practices, can be put in place swiftly to contain any further spread.
Prior to the outbreak, significant measures had already been put in place by HRM to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus in the facility.
TBDHU and St. Joseph’s Care Group will continue to collaborate on the ongoing investigation and management of this outbreak.
“Our priority is to make sure that we do everything possible to keep our residents and staff safe,” said Tracy Buckler, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group. “We are well- prepared and confident that the precautionary measures we have put in place will do what they are intended to do, which is to prevent transmission of the virus.”
Actions taken to date:
As the facility cares for a high-risk population, Hogarth Riverview Manor has proactive policies and evidence-based practices in place to prevent any potential spread of infection. As part of precautionary measures with any respiratory outbreak in a long-term care home, residents on the fourth floor are in isolation, in their own rooms, until further notice. Other measures in place include:
- Staff and residents follow physical distancing guidelines.
- Group activities are discontinued.
- Staff screening occurs at the beginning and end of every shift, including temperature checks for fever.
- All staff and essential visitors wear masks, gowns, goggles, and gloves.
- Residents are assessed twice a day for symptoms. This includes temperature checks.
- Visitor restrictions have been in effect since the beginning of March.
- Employees of a long-term care provider cannot also work in any other long-term care home, health service provider, or retirement home. St. Joseph’s Care Group staff cannot work for any other employer.
Test results are available directly from the provincial laboratory system through an online portal. This Online Portal to access COVID-19 test results was launched on Sunday by the Government of Ontario and offers fast and secure access to test results on a computer or mobile device.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.