Brandon-area home-care worker tested positive for COVID-19

By | May 20, 2020

An employee of a Brandon-based private home-care service tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, the owner of the business confirmed Wednesday.

An employee of Daughter on Call, which offers home-care services in western Manitoba, tested positive for the illness on May 10, said CEO Gail Freeman-Campbell.

“A very valued employee of Daughter on Call” first felt ill with an upset stomach while at work on May 6, Freeman-Campbell said Wednesday afternoon. She was sent home that day before developing other symptoms and testing positive shortly afterward.

“She is recovering and will be able to … get back into the workforce and back out to society as soon as public health clears her completely.”

Daughter on Call offers home-care service in communities including Brandon, Neepawa and Portage la Prairie. According to its website, it has more than 100 staff members in those areas.

The employee who tested positive had recently been working with two clients, both of whom lived in private homes, as opposed to long-term or personal care centres, Freeman-Campbell said.

While some of Daughter on Call’s staff do go into personal care homes in the area for work, Freeman-Campbell said the employee who fell ill did not.

The employee worked with one of her clients on the day she felt ill, and the other client prior to her symptoms arising, Freeman-Campbell said. One of the clients is based in Brandon and the other is outside the city.

To the best of her knowledge, neither of the clients have been ill, Freeman-Campbell said.

On Wednesday morning, the Brandon Sun reported Freeman-Campbell had denied any staff members were ill. On Wednesday afternoon, Freeman-Campbell said she stated her staff is healthy in an effort to protect the right of her employees to privacy and confidentiality.

“I will not share her name or any more details other than she works for me,” she said.

3 other staff potentially exposed

Public health investigators have investigated and done contact tracing on the case, including contacting both clients and three other staff members, she said.

The staff members who were potentially exposed have followed all public health guidance they received, she said. She believes one of them had a test for COVID-19 that came back negative, and the other two have not developed symptoms.

Thirty-four Manitoba health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to new demographic data released by the province on Tuesday.

That includes 12 nurses, eight health-care aides, nine physicians and residents and five in unspecified roles.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Manitoba has 23 active cases of COVID-19 and a total caseload of 290.

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