2nd COVID case at Riverview Gardens

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By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

A second staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at Riverview Gardens long-term care home.

“Riverview Gardens has had a second employee test positive for COVID-19 and CK Public Health has put all of Riverview Gardens in outbreak status,” read a statement from Riverview Gardens.

CK Public Health hasn’t been able to connect the two staff members’ cases to one another. One of the employees contracted the virus through close contact with a positive person working outside Riverview Gardens, and the other case is still under investigation, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health, Dr. David Colby, told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

“Extensive testing is being conducted and we’ll just see how the results are, but there’s no indication of symptoms developing among large numbers of residents or among staff. They’re screened every day before they go to work, so we would know if there was a greater than baseline number of people getting sick,” Colby said.”

The first case was reported on Dec. 1, triggering and outbreak status. Long-term care homes only need one case to be classified as an outbreak. The first employee to test positive has since recovered.

“We are taking this very seriously, and have implemented all precautions recommended by public health,” Riverview Gardens stated.

The long-term care home remains closed to visitors, and one pre-approved caregiver per resident may come in at a time. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the last 14 days is required.

Residents may not leave the facility for non-essential absences for the duration of the outbreak. Day outings, with the exception of medical appointments, are not permitted.

“At this time, I would say that the outbreak is small, but Riverview Gardens is a large facility we’re taking this very seriously and using every precautionary approach … to be able to make sure that it doesn’t get out of control,” Colby said.

On Thursday afternoon, CK Public Health reported one new case of COVID-19. The cumulative total sits at 541, with 34 active. One person is hospitalized and the Riverview Garden outbreak is the only active outbreak throughout the municipality.

More than 100 students and staff have returned to Dresden Area School on Thursday, after public health directed them to self isolate while they awaited the results of two probable cases. The 102 students and 15 staff members were dismissed earlier this week. Both of those probable cases have come back negative.

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