10 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Bradford, Ont., long-term care home

Long-term care homes in Ontario are being told not to send seniors to hospital if they're showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has reported an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a Bradford, Ont., seniors’ home.

There are 10 cases of COVID-19 at Bradford Valley Care Community — nine residents and one staff member, according to Charles Gardner, the local health unit’s medical officer of health.

“Over the weekend, we became informed of an outbreak,” Gardner told reporters Monday.

“They are under isolation on the premises, with the exception of one staff member who’s in self-isolation at home.”

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Gardner said it’s not clear yet how exactly the virus entered the facility.

“What happens most commonly is a staff-related exposure because, in fact, nobody else can come into the facilities but staff,” he added.

In a statement, Sienna Senior Living, the company that owns Bradford Valley, said precautionary measures were in place at the facility prior to the 10 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.

“Additional directives from public health are now in place,” Sienna Senior Living said in the statement.

“The team at Bradford Valley is…highly skilled in infection control practice and are working closely with public health, who have confirmed that all proper precautions and directives are in place.”

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The company says anyone who is suspected to have been exposed to the virus is quarantined, while confirmed COVID-19 residents are isolating.

“These residents are dining in their rooms and no longer having group recreational activities,” Sienna Senior Living said.

Staff members are also wearing surgical face masks and have their temperatures taken twice per shift, while all residents are being frequently monitored and get their temperatures taken twice daily, Sienna Senior Living said.

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The long-term care home is practising physical distancing as much as possible, frequently cleaning all surfaces, prohibiting all non-essential visitors and actively screening any essential visitors, including temperature checks, according to Sienna Senior Living.

“Outbreaks at long-term care facilities is a critical issue for us at this time because there’s such a vulnerable population,” Gardner said.

“We need to do all that we can to protect the residents of those facilities.”

Sienna Senior Living also owns the Spencer House long-term care home in Orillia, Ont., where one staffer tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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