Staff member at Winnipeg personal care home tests positive for COVID-19

By | September 1, 2020

A staff member at a personal care home in Winnipeg has tested positive for COVID-19.

Management of the Fred Douglas Lodge became aware of the case on Monday. Residents and their families were notified in a letter the same day, said Roslyn Garofalo, CEO of the Fred Douglas Society.

No residents or other employees are showing symptoms, Garofalo said in the letter.

No details about the employee who tested positive or when they were last at work were provided.

“We appreciate this is incredibly unsettling news for our residents and their loved ones. Please be assured that we have moved quickly to enact precautions that will prevent any further spread of illness,” said Garofalo.

The care home continues to screen employees, while residents will be tested if they become symptomatic, she said, adding that families will be contacted directly if that occurs.

Contract tracing is also underway, Garofalo told CBC News.

“Understandably, it’s stressful for staff. We’re meeting with them and trying to alleviate concern and anxiety as much as we can, and answering questions as they arise,” she said.

“[Families] are actually very, very supportive of our efforts and ask us to stay strong and and continue caring for their loved ones.”

In-person visitation is suspended at the personal care home, among other measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Fred Douglas Lodge has implemented other measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus:

  • Residents are restricted to their units and are receiving care by staff dedicated to their needs.
  • Employee movement between units is minimized as much as possible.
  • In-person visitation is suspended (Skype visits will continue).
  • Admissions into the facility are suspended.
  • All staff who are in contact with residents must wear personal protective equipment to prevent potential transmission of the illness between staff members and residents.
  • Meals and recreation activities for all residents are taking place on resident units.
  • Residents who become symptomatic will be isolated from other residents, and those dining together will be physically distanced as much as possible from one another at meal times.

This is the second time a worker at Fred Douglas Lodge tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The first case occurred in mid-April. The employee was not someone who provided direct care to residents.

Meanwhile, four other personal care homes in Manitoba are currently trying to contain outbreaks.

Three personal care homes in Brandon, Man., announced outbreaks after staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

An outbreak at a personal care home in Steinbach, Man., has infected seven staff and three residents. Two of the residents have died.

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