Employee at county LTC home tests positive for COVID-19

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The County of Renfrew says it has been notified that an employee at the Miramichi Lodge long-term care home has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Laboratory testing was used to confirm this diagnosis.

“Regretfully, we must announce that an employee of our long-term care home in Pembroke has tested positive for COVID-19,” said County Warden Debbie Robinson.

“This individual is isolated at their home to prevent the spread of infection to others.”

“Our best wishes go to the employee for a rapid and full recovery,” she added. “Every effort is being made by the county and local municipalities to protect the safety of residents of our long-term care homes, members of our staff and our community.”

The county said the individual has not been present in the workplace for over a week.

Residents and staff that were in contact with this individual are being notified and “all appropriate measures are being taken” to try and eliminate any potential spread of infection at the home.

“After developing symptoms, the individual took the appropriate action and stayed home,” said director of long-term care Shelley Sheedy.

“The County of Renfrew will handle each case with the utmost respect to privacy, while also informing potentially affected residents and staff; while taking swift measures to mitigate spread of the virus.

“Please understand that out of respect for individual privacy, there are details about this case (or others moving forward) that we will not be able to share.”

The health and safety of the county workforce and its residents are a top priority for county council, according to Robinson.

She said it is paramount that every effort be made to keep all essential services operating so the county can continue to meet the needs of residents.

“The County of Renfrew is working closely with the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, and has been, and will continue to follow the directives of the provincial medical officer of health in efforts to protect residents and staff in our long-term care homes from COVID-19 and other health risks,” Robinson added.

The county says it has been taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of infection among its workforce including the use of teleworking among staff, insisting sick employees stay home, increasing the frequency of cleaning county facilities, cancelling large meetings and staff travel, closing facilities to public access, and using staff bulletins to encourage physical distancing and other preventive measures.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the Renfrew County and District Health Unit website at www.rcdhu.com. or the province of Ontario’s site at www.ontario.ca/coronavirus.