COVID varient not likely cause of Vision Rest Home outbreak

All but one resident of Vision Rest Home in Sarnia contracted COVID-19 at the home.

It doesn’t appear a variant of COVID-19 was the cause of a fast moving outbreak at Vision Rest Home.

Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, says initial testing failed to turn up either the variant first found in the UK or South Africa.

All but one person who lives at the Sarnia rest home were diagnosed with COVID-19 in just 17 days. Fourteen staff members are also COVID-19 positive. Two people have died there.

Heather Martin, the CAO of the non-profit home, told The Independent “very rapid spread occurred at the onset of this outbreak.” 

Ranade says because the virus moved so quickly through the home, he asked Public Health Ontario to test for the variants which spread the virus quicker. A very small number of the tests are reexamined. In Vision’s case, Ranade says three samples were retested.

“I think at least one of them has come back negative, and I’m not sure where the other ones are but if one came back negative, the likelihood all of them are negative is probably quite high.”

It’s not clear how the virus got into the rest home, but Ranade says as is often the case in rest home, the staff and residents are “very social” and that meant lots of interactions. And he says rest homes generally have less staff, so each person would take on more tasks meaning they would have more contact with the residents, which could have also led to the rapid spread at Vision.

Three other long term care homes are also in outbreak right now. Lambton Meadowview Villa in Petrolia has one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

Both Twin Lakes Terrace and Village on the St. Clair registered more COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

One more resident at Village on the St. Clair tested positive for the virus over the weekend with 28 residents and 14 staff members COVID-19 positive. Three people have died there. Twin Lakes Terrace also had another positive test in a resident. There are now 18 residents and five staff who have tested positive. One person has died there.