A 90-year-old woman from a Wallaceburg long-term care home died from COVID-19 on Tuesday.
“We are saddened to report that a resident at Fairfield Park passed away earlier this week due to COVID-19. Our thoughts are with their family today and I know you join us in extending our deepest condolences,” Tracey Maxim, administrator for Fairfield Park, said in a media release.
This is the eighth COVID-19 death in Chatham-Kent since the pandemic began, and the second resident at Fairfield Park to pass away from the virus.
Two additional individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 also passed away this month, although the virus was not the official cause of death.
Last week, representatives for Fairfield Park’s unionized employees alleged the employer failed to provide staff with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). However, the situation turned out to be a “non-issue,” according to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health.
“The PPE that they had just had not received the medical grade designation when they first received it. But exactly the same model that they continue to use did get checked and processed and given that grade,” he said.
He added that the primary function of masks, in regard to the pandemic, is to contain secretions from the wearer to others in the vicinity.
“So there was no reason to believe that any of the masks that were used were inadequate in that regard.”
On a more positive note for the long-term care home, no new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday morning and resolved cases are increasing.
There are 24 active cases among Fairfield residents and 31 active cases among its staff. Chatham-Kent is dealing with an additional 74 active cases not associated with the long-term care home.
On Thursday morning, three new cases were reported and five resolved. Fifty active cases are from close contacts of previously positive individuals.
Nine COVID-19 patients are in the hospital, two of which moved to the intensive care unit without the aid of a ventilator.
Chatham-Kent’s COVID-19 Unit has been officially declared free of its outbreak status after one staff member and a presumed-positive patient contracted the virus within the hospital.
The Medicine A/B Unit reported no new cases on Thursday morning and is expected to be cleared of its outbreak status in the next few days.
At the Chatham hospital, there are currently 25 staff who are off either because they tested positive or are self-isolating due to close contact.
Twenty of those individuals are expected to return within the next 72 hours, said Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.
As a result, ambulatory care and the surgical program are expected to resume at normal volume on Tuesday.
Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice