We know that there’s COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, we know it’s at Guelph General Hospital too, and now it’s at Homewood Health Centre. The world famous 300-bed mental health and addiction facility has declared an outbreak in one of their programs despite all their precautions.
“This afternoon, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health declared an outbreak in one program at the Homewood Health Centre. All individuals with confirmed tests are self-isolating at home,” said a message on Homewood’s website.
According to Homewood, they have been observing mandatory screenings at the entrances to their facilities for all staff, patients, volunteers and vendors. Last week they cleaned all patient rooms and common areas with a “high quality, antimicrobial disinfectant” and all staff have been trained in infection control and prevention methods. They are still admitting new patients, but those patients are being screened several times before being admitted.
“As it is in all healthcare facilities, this situation continues to evolve rapidly and we are working with WDGPH and following all of their required guidelines to continue to limit the risk and protect our patients and our staff,” reads the message on the website. “We thank our team and all healthcare workers for their efforts on the front lines and our hearts go out to people and families suffering through the effects of COVID-19.”
Following the diagnosis of COVID-19 in patients at St. Joseph’s and Guelph General, this is the second health facility with an outbreak that Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has had to deal with this week. On Tuesday, a patient in Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to five members of staff who have also tested positive.
“We quickly made sure those who tested positive went home so that they can recover fully,” said Kim Delahunt, President & CEO of Headwaters. “Other staff who were in contact with those individuals were sent home or advised not to come back and self-isolate as well. We have been preparing for this situation and are taking immediate action to ensure the safety of all staff and patients at Headwaters; that is our first priority.”
According to the current numbers from Public Health, they are aware of 48 cases of COVID-19 in their coverage areas, with eight new cases in the last 48 hours; by region, 25 of the cases are in Guelph, seven in Wellington County, and 15 in Dufferin County.
“Please avoid going to the hospital unless you feel it is a medical emergency. If you have mild symptoms stay home and get well. If you feel you need to speak with your physician you can call to arrange a telephone consultation or call Telehealth Ontario,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in a statement. “COVID-19 can be anywhere in the community. Maintain physical distancing of six feet with anyone but immediate family members and wash your hands frequently.”