Southwestern Public Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a long-term care home near St. Thomas after two residents and a staff member who were fully vaccinated became infected.
A resident and staff member at Elgin Manor long-term care home, just outside St. Thomas, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, two days after a resident was confirmed to have the virus. The health unit declared the outbreak Sunday.
"As of today (Monday), there are three positive cases (one staff, two residents)," a spokesperson for Joyce Lock, the medical officer of health for Elgin and Oxford counties, said in an email. "All three are fully immunized. Two of the cases were symptomatic."
The public health unit said it is working with Elgin Manor to arrange testing and "provide guidance for infection prevention and control, such as deep cleaning, masking, screening staff and residents, and isolation."
Staff at Elgin Manor are working with the public health unit to monitor residents and screen staff for symptoms of COVID-19, Elgin County Warden Tom Marks said Monday.
"It's a stark reminder COVID is still here," he said of the outbreak. "I'm confident we'll get through it, but it's a reminder. We have to be careful."
Marks said outbreaks at long-term care homes in Elgin County had been a "rare occurrence" since vaccination rates have increased during the past few months.
The last outbreak at a long-term care or retirement home in the jurisdiction of Southwestern Public Health was in May. The health unit covers Elgin and Oxford counties, including the cities of St. Thomas and Woodstock.
The region saw a surge in COVID cases during the weekend, bringing the total number of active infections from 43 on Friday to 71, the health unit reported on its website. There are 44 new cases and 16 recoveries.
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Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press