A staff member at St. Joseph’s Villa in Sudbury has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the facility to declare an outbreak and establish additional control measures to keep the virus at bay.
Ontario law dictates that an outbreak is declared with one single lab-confirmed case in a resident or staff member.
In a press release sent Sunday afternoon, Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, said the facility is working closely with Public Health Sudbury and Districts.
“We want to assure staff, patients, and families that the risk of infection in our facilities remains low,” Palkovits said. “None of the residents who were in contact with this employee are symptomatic and all are being tested.”
Residents of the villa continue to be isolated in their individual rooms, Palkovits said, while the infected staff member is self-isolating at home.
The residence can accommodate up to 128 people, its web site says.
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the Chief Medical Officer for PHSD, said this is the first case of COVID-19 in a retirement home in the Sudbury-Manitoulin service area. So far, she said the case is limited to a worker and has not spread to any residents of the home.
When an outbreak is declared, additional control measures are enacted and overseen by an “outbreak control team,” Sutcliffe said.
“In this instance, this includes the priority testing of identified residents and staff members,” Sutcliffe said. “In addition to the already stringent COVID-19 protection action in place as required by provincial orders and guidance.”
St. Joseph’s has had strict visitor restrictions in place since March, and has suspended all new admissions.
According to the Villa, staff screening occurs at the beginning and end of shifts, including temperature checks. All staff and essential visitors wear masks, while residents are being assessed three times a day for symptoms of COVID-19.