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Two COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes in Timiskaming - BayToday
All affected residents are in isolation and are medically stable
The Timiskaming Health Unit confirmed today that two COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at long term care homes in the district of Timiskaming. Two residents of the Northview Nursing Home in Englehart have been confirmed positive, while the Temiskaming Lodge has one resident and three staff members who have tested positive. "All affected residents are in isolation and are medically stable," says a news release. "Positive staff members have been notified and are in self-isolation." The Timiskaming Health Unit, along with local hospitals and Ontario Health, are working closely with the two facilities to ensure all measures are in place to protect residents and staff according to the release. Investigations regarding these cases continue with contact tracing, in order to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Dr. Glenn Corneil, Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Timiskaming district said, “Having had previous cases of COVID-19 transmitted through community spread we knew the possibility of more cases existed. Even if people have mild symptoms the risk of transmission needs to be taken very seriously, and everyone needs to continue to follow all recommended public health measures to protect themselves and others.” Ministry direction requires an outbreak be declared with a single laboratory-confirmed case in a resident or staff member. Earlier this week the Ontario government launched a province-wide surveillance testing initiative for all long term care home residents and staff, including asymptomatic people. There have been 12 positive cases, not including today's, in Timiskaming District. Eleven have been resolved and one is in self-isolation.
Third COVID-19 death reported in Timmins area - BayToday
It's a man in his 70s who was admitted to hospital
A third COVID-19 death has been reported in the Porcupine Health Unit region. Medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton said it is a man in his 70s who tested positive April 5 and was admitted to Timmins and District Hospital. She said it is not related to one of the institutional outbreaks. "On behalf of the PHU, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends," said Catton in a news release. This is the third death related to the virus in the health unit's area. Earlier this month, a woman in her 60s who was admitted to Timmins and District Hospital, and a woman in her 50s who was admitted to Lady Minto Hospital in Cochrane died from the virus. While older adults and people with pre-existing conditions are at greater risk, the health unit warns people that anyone can develop the infection. "Continue to stay home as much as possible, avoid non-essential trips and maintain two metres (6') between yourself and others when you do need to leave your home," said Catton. "COVID-19 is circulating in our communities, and we all play a role in reducing tragic outcomes from this pandemic." As of this morning, the health unit had reported 49 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region. Tonight, however, an outbreak of the virus was declared at Timmins and District Hospital after a patient tested positive. The TDH outbreak is the fourth at a Timmins facility. The first was at Extendicare Timmins and has since been ended. There are also outbreaks at Spruce Hill Lodge in South Porcupine, where two residents have tested positive, and St. Mary's Gardens where an employee tested positive. The health unit is doing expanded testing on people with milder symptoms for a limited time. The expanded list of symptoms includes cough, fever, and difficulty breathing as well as sore throat/hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting. There are COVID-19 assessment centres in Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, and Hornepayne. They are by appointment only and you must be referred by your primary healthcare provider or the health unit. A centre is expected to open in Hearst this week as well. The PHU COVID-19 hotline is open during the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It can be reached at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.