Another Timmins Extendicare employee tests positive for COVID-19
Extendicare Timmins, a long-term care home located in Timmins, Ont.
SUDBURY -- Another employee at the Extendicare Timmins long-term care home has tested positive for COVID-19, the Porcupine Health Unit said Wednesday.
A woman in her 50s without symptoms was tested on Monday and is isolating at home.
Officials are now conducting an outbreak assessment at the facility, but say all infection prevention measures have been followed. An investigation is continuing.
A new outbreak has not been declared at Extendicare Timmins, but since the pandemic began there have been three: the first in April, the second in May and the last one in July.
The Ontario Ministry of Health says long-term care homes "must consider a single, laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member as a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in the home."
However, the ministry also says after consultation with the local public health unit, it may not be necessary to declare an outbreak if a new admissions or readmission tests positive if they have been in isolation under contact and droplet precautions since entering the home.
The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility and Ontario Health has recommended voluntary surveillance testing of all long-term care staff every two weeks since earlier this summer.
This new case marks the 73rd positive case in the Porcupine Health Unit service area, which includes Timmins, Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls. There have been eight COVID-related deaths in the PHU area.
"This serves as an important reminder that we need to remain vigilant, COVID-19 is still circulating," the health unit said.
More information at about COVID-19 testing in Ontario long-term care homes can be found here.
As of July 23, it is mandatory for people in all communities in the area to wear a face-covering in public indoor spaces, in addition to physical distancing, washing your hands and staying home when not feeling well.
"Remember there are some individuals who may not be able to do this, including young children and those with certain medical conditions. Be kind, we are all in this together," said the health unit.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and seek testing through one of the assessment centres across Ontario. You can also call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or toll-free at 1-800-461-1818.