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Simcoe Manor battles COVID outbreak infecting 50 residents and staff

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Simcoe Manor is facing one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks the Region has seen.

Four COVID-positive residents have passed away while 30 others remain infected out of the 126 seniors who call Simcoe Manor home.

There have also been 19 positive cases among the staff since the outbreak was declared on October 2.

“The Town of New Tecumseth was doing very well with the COVID-19, unfortunately one of our manors, Simcoe Manor, was affected,” said New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne

“The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit, through the County and through the Municipality jumped on it very rapidly and started segregating the staff and doing tests.”

Mayor Milne offered his condolences to the residents and their families who passed away while infected by the virus.

Currently, 17 of the active cases among residents are asymptomatic, exhibiting none of the associated symptoms of COVID-19. Around 80 per cent of all infections are mild or asymptomatic, according to the World Health Organization.

“The Coronavirus has proved challenging across the globe as many COVID-positive individuals do not suffer any symptoms, making it very difficult to contain,” the County of Simcoe noted in a recent update.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Long-Term Care announced that they issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to temporarily manage Simcoe Manor on behalf of the County of Simcoe, starting October 9.

RVH will manage the long-term care home for 90 days.

“Our government’s top priority is to keep Ontarians safe, especially our long-term care home residents who are most vulnerable,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “I thank the dedicated staff at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and Simcoe Manor for working together to end the COVID-19 outbreaks.”

The community in New Tecumseth has banded together to support Simcoe Manor staff and residents through the outbreak. Tim Hortons sent coffee for the staff and letters have came in for the residents from the community offering words of support and encouragement.

New Tecumseth as a whole has seen 164 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 46 of them still active as of press time. October has accounted for 60 new cases so far, compared to just 18 in all of September.

The Simcoe Muskoka region has been impacted by over 1,100 cases, since the pandemic begun and 141 are presently infected.

Simcoe Muskoka reported 185 new cases in September which is similar to the total seen in April or May during the peak of the first wave of COVID-19.

There’s been a significant increase in testing for the second wave compared to the first, so it is likely that fewer cases are being missed this time around, noted Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner.

However, the turnaround times for COVID-19 tests has been a challenge as of late.

“The target is for a two-day turnaround time or less, 80 percent of the tests within two days, and we are not achieving that turnaround time,” Dr. Gardner noted.

“This is in part related to the backlog of testing happening in the provincial public health laboratory system.”

Despite the outbreak in Simcoe Manor, most transmission happening in the region are from community spread for the second wave.

Mayor Milne told The Times it’s important that people remain vigilant to reduce the impact of COVID-19 locally.

“Wash your hands, wear your mask and keep the distance and we’ll beat this,” he said.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



         


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