COVID reaches Riverview Gardens as C-K numbers climb

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COVID-19 has finally crept into one of Chatham-Kent’s long-term care facilities.

CK Public Health officials said a staff member at Riverview Gardens in Chatham is in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

Public Health has notified and isolated staff and residents who may have been exposed to the person.

An outbreak is declared in a long-term care home when it meets Ministry of Health criteria; and one positive case is enough to declare an outbreak.

“Riverview Gardens has implemented outbreak management protocols, and all residents and staff have been notified”, said Dr. David Colby, Medical Officer of Health, in a media release. “We are continuing to investigate and monitor the situation, and support the facility with education on infection prevention and control.”

Riverview Gardens first detected the employee had a positive COVID-19 result on Monday through routine surveillance testing, they said in a Facebook statement earlier in the week. Originally, they believed it to be a false positive as the person had no symptoms and had not been around any confirmed cases. The long-term care home said they took the precautions recommended by CK Public Health while they awaited the confirmation.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to exceptional infection control protocols: employees wearing masks, frequent hand hygiene, increased disinfecting of surfaces,” they said in their statement on Monday.

Chatham-Kent’s COVID-19 numbers spiralled upward today as well, with 17 new cases reported over the past 24 hours.

One other person has died of the virus locally.

Chatham-Kent has now topped the 500-case mark to date, with 512. Thirty-one of those are active, according to Public Health statistics.

Public Health officials said “it takes all of our efforts to protect our most vulnerable residents. This includes continuing to follow public health advice to keep COVID-19 controlled in our community.”

This includes: only travel for essential purposes, physically distance (two metres) from others, wear a mask, wash your hands or use 70-per-cent alcohol hand sanitizer frequently, and stay home if you are unwell.

To learn more about staying safe, visit www.ckpublichealth.com/covid19.

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