Ten more COVID-19 cases linked to Extendicare Kapuskasing, outbreak grows to 18 cases
SUDBURY -- The Porcupine Health Unit has confirmed 10 new infections connected to the outbreak at Extendicare Kapuskasing Tuesday morning, bringing the total of cases to 18.
"At this time, we have 14 active resident cases and four active cases among team members," Extendicare said in an email statement to CTV News. "Based on these results, residents have been cohorted in order to limit virus spread and are isolating in their rooms, where they are being provided with meals and enhanced care support. Affected staff are recovering at home until cleared by public health to return to work."
As of Tuesday, Porcupine Health Unit was only reporting 16 institutional outbreak-related cases in the Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland area. Two additional outbreak-related infections were confirmed by the health unit Wednesday morning.
An outbreak was declared at the long-term care home in northern Ontario on Jan. 6 after the first laboratory-confirmed case, the third COVID-19 outbreak at the facility since the pandemic began.
In a Jan. 13 letter from the company posted on the care home's Facebook page, the first six cases at the location involved five residents and one staff member. The letter states the employee would not return to work until cleared by the health unit.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be extremely challenging for long-term care communities. As levels of community spread remain high in many regions across Ontario, long-term care homes must continue to combat increased risk of exposure," the care home said. "Extendicare Kapuskasing is working closely with public health to ensure our infection control practices are informed by the latest available evidence. We are strictly adhering to all of the provincial and local public health directives and will continue to test rigorously so that we can combat the virus effectively and clear it from our home as soon as possible."
Extendicare said it has increased cleaning with a focus on high-touch surfaces, twice-daily symptom screening of all residents, screening all staff for symptoms before each shift, testing all team members weekly and enforcing personal protective equipment requirements.
"We continue to add additional staff members to support our home during this time," Extendicare said. "Our focus at this time is solely on providing quality care to our residents, keeping our families informed and supporting our staff. We will continue to do all we can to limit risk of exposure to the people we care for and the staff who support them."
As of Tuesday morning, there are 31 active COVID-19 cases in the Cochrane District, including the community of Hornepayne.
Since Christmas Eve, there have been 60 new cases in the district, accounting for 32 per cent of the total number of positive cases, while 37 cases have been resolved.
The number of COVID-19 cases was increased to 18 based on information provided by Extendicare Kapuskasing, two additional outbreak-related cases were confirmed by Porcupine Health Unit on Wednesday morning.