14 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed at London, Ont., senior residence

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 at London’s Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence Friday.

The health unit confirmed 24 new cases of COVID-19 that day, the largest daily surge to date.

In a statement released by the MLHU Friday, it says the announcement comes after staff had directed the facility to test all staff and residents as part of the outbreak management process recently put in place as a result of new guidance from the Ministry of Health.

A COVID-19 outbreak had been declared at Grand Wood Park on March 31, after two residents there tested positive at the same time, according to the health unit.

“COVID-19 outbreaks are declared at long-term care homes and retirement residences once a single case of the infection has been confirmed within a given facility,” the statement read.

The Health Unit says they notified Grand Wood Park administration of the positive cases Thursday and have followed up with an assessment of the infection prevention and control measures currently in place, and found them to be satisfactory.

In a statement by Revera, which operates Grand Wood Park, it said 45 residents living in the same area as the first two cases received testing for respiratory symptoms. They added some of the 14 residents who tested positive are asymptomatic.

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The MLHU adds risk assessments will be conducted over the weekend for all long-term care homes and retirement residences in London and Middlesex County.

Revera said in its statement all staff providing care for residents in isolation must wear “the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes a mask, face shield, gloves and gown. Staff in all areas of the residence wear surgical masks at all times.”

It adds enhanced cleaning continues at Grand Wood Park, where high touch surfaces, common areas
and resident suites are being disinfected using a Clorox 360 disinfectant cleaner system.

Additionally, residents have been served their meals in their rooms and group recreation programming has been replaced by one-on-one activities since the outbreak began, according to Revera.

“This increase in the number of cases at Grand Wood Park gives us a better picture of what is going on in some of our long-term care homes and retirement residences and actually helps increase our understanding of how the coronavirus behaves in these facilities,” says Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

“Where we have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in these facilities, we’ve asked that aggressive testing be done with all residents and staff, even those who are asymptomatic. I expect this will result in more cases but will also help in preventing further spread.”

As of Friday afternoon, 13 local COVID-19 outbreaks had been declared in London and Middlesex, most of them at long-term care and retirement homes.

The most recent outbreak was declared at Horizon Place in west London on Wednesday.

Only one outbreak has been marked as resolved, which is Chelsey Park. An outbreak was declared April 2, and resolved April 14.

Elsewhere, outbreaks have also been declared at Meadow Park Care Centre, Sprucedale Care Centre and Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (St. Mary’s fifth floor), Grand Wood Park, Henley Place, Seasons Strathroy, Kensington Village (second floor), and Earls Court Village.

With files from 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick 

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