Two Lambton County long term care homes on high alert after COVID-19 exposure

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Meadowview Villa, Petrolia

Officials at two of Lambton County’s long term care homes are taking extra precautions after two service providers who were in the homes tested positive for COVID-19.

Jane Joris, general manager of long term care for Lambton County, says at both Meadowview Villa in Petrolia and Marshall Gowland Manor, two separate service providers were in the homes a week ago. They were well at the time but have since tested positive for the highly contagious virus.

Joris says they are being vigilant with screening people coming into the home and the homes are taking extra infection control measures including limiting the movement of residents and staff to one floor or ‘neighbourhood’ and eliminating any extra curricular activities. Visits to residents are still occurring – at least for now.

Joris says the province-wide lockdown will change that.

“As soon as it is midnight, Christmas night, we won’t be able to have general visits,” says Joris. However, unlike the first lockdown in March, residents will have family support during the isolation period.

Essential caregivers will still be allowed to be with residents, without booking appointments, in their room. Only one essential caregiver will be allowed in the room at a time. Essential caregivers must now be tested weekly for COVID-19 to be admitted to the home.

The administrator says as the number of cases rises in Lambton County, staff at the long term care homes are anxious, hoping that COVID-19 will not make its way into the home. COVID-19 has been particularly deadly in long term care, with about 60 per cent of the deaths in Ontario from COVID-19 in long term care.

Joris admits staff is a bit on edge. “I think people are less resilient than they were at the beginning for sure. And it’s tiring, because the I think the anxiety is waiting for something to happen, right?

“We’re seeing it all around us. Everybody’s working really hard to follow all the rules but we know, things can still happen. So there’s anxiety about that.”