Residents at Sudbury long term care home all being tested for COVID-19

The organization that runs St. Joseph’s Villa in Sudbury says the long term care home is well-equipped to deal with COVID-19.

The home declared an outbreak on Sunday after a staff member tested positive. And today, a resident tested positive as well.

Jo-Anne Palkovits is the head of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, which oversees St. Joseph’s Villa in Sudbury. (St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury)

“It’s not a surprise,” said Jo-Anne Palkovits, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, which oversees St. Joseph’s Villa.

“I mean, COVID-19 is in the community. So certainly while we’re concerned, I think it’s important to remember that we’re also very well prepared. We deal with outbreaks all the time, particularly around inflienza A and B … so we already have a pandemic plan in place, we have outbreak protocols in place.”

Palkovits said the staff member who tested positive had not been at work since April 8. After determining who he had been in contact with, nine other staff members are now self isolating at home.

As for the resident who tested positive today, Palkovits says she is “pleased to report that the resident is doing well and has no symptoms. She remains in self-isolation. We understand this is very worrisome news to hear; however, we want to reassure our staff, residents and their families that the risk of infection throughout our facility remains low. The safety of our residents, and staff, remains our number one priority.”

All 128 residents are being tested for COVID-19. She says staff members are wearing personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, at all times.

“In addition to that, because of our design, every single resident has their own room. And so all of our residents are isolated.”

Palkovits called her staff “superstars.”

“I mean our staff are just amazing. It’s certainly helping, I think, alleviate the concerns and fears that our family members have.

It’s the situation all long term care homes are working to avoid. St. Joseph’s Villa in Sudbury declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the weekend after a staff member tested positive. The CEO says no one else is showing symptoms, and all residents are being tested. Jo-Anne Palkovits shared more details with the CBC’s Sarah MacMillan. 7:13

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