Second patient tests positive at Waypoint's high-security unit

·2 min read

The Penetanguishene mental health facility has reported another positive test in its Awenda Program. The notice on the hospital's website says the program continues in outbreak status in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

"All Awenda patients are isolating in their individual rooms with regular health status checks and have been tested," says the notice. "We are awaiting additional results. Staff testing continues and at this time we do not have any other positive cases among patients or staff." This is the hospital’s first outbreak since the pandemic began 10 months ago.

"We are grateful for the efforts of our staff who are working day in and day out to maintain a safe environment while providing essential mental health care in the midst of these extremely challenging times," says the notice. "We are meeting daily with our outbreak management group and monitoring the situation." The risk of transmission is still considered low, says the hospital's website.

"We know this has not been easy for our patients, clients and their families; however, we can assure you that Waypoint has enhanced cleaning and multiple safety measures in place for staff and patients," says the notice. The Awenda Program remains closed to transfers, unless for emergency medical reasons, until the outbreak is over. The hospital, however, remains open for admissions to our Swing Unit (isolation unit). All other clinical programs are also still continuing activities.

"Our multiple safety precautions include keeping patient programs separated for activities," says the notice. As of January 10, 2021, about half of our staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

"At this time, we do not have confirmed timing for when our patients and clients and remainder of our staff will be able to access the vaccine, but we continue to advocate for inclusion as soon as possible," says the online notice.

The hospital remains focused on infection prevention and control, and the safety of patients, clients, staff and our community and we continue to be in regular contact with the SMDHU. All safety precautions remain in place – universal masking for patients and staff, screening, hand hygiene, use of full PPE for all isolated patients, physical distancing, etc.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,