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More cases of COVID-19 confirmed at N.S. long-term care facilities
HALIFAX -- Concern among families and advocates is rising as more cases of COVID-19 are confirmed at long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia.
Halifax's Northwood Community announced Tuesday that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19, along with a second Halifax staff member, bringing the total number of people with COVID-19 at its Halifax campus to four.
“We are working with Public Health and the Department of Health and Wellness to complete contact tracing and ensure appropriate measures are put in place,” said Northwood in a statement on its website.
Northwood previously announced Monday that two employees of its home-care program also tested positive.
“All known potential staff contacts have been notified and any potential resident contacts are being swabbed and will be on precautions and regularly monitored for symptoms.”
Northwood says all residents, clients and families of those affected by the confirmed cases will be contacted.
Also on Tuesday, Admiral Long Term Care Centre in Dartmouth, N.S. announced that two residents and five more employees had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of people at the facility affected by the virus to 10.
Ocean View Continuing Care Centre in Eastern Passage, N.S. confirmed on Monday that they have had a resident test positive.
“The symptoms just started Sunday morning,” said Ocean View President and CEO Dion Mouland.
Mouland says the resident is being treated for mild symptoms in an isolated unit.
“I’m feeling a little nervous and kind of scared,” said Tammy Murray, whose mother is at Ocean View Continuing Care Centre. “It’s in a different area of the hospital, and they’ve been isolated, so I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed.”
Public health has tested 31 other residents and 27 workers at Ocean View, and Mouland says they are now making protective equipment available to all their workers.
“Even if you don’t work directly with that particular outbreak unit, you still want to be more comfortable and have available masks and gloves to do your work,” says Mouland.
“We’re really trying to pressure government to put in extra precautions, but all they default to is a lack of supplies,” says Jason MacLean, president of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU).
A number of Nova Scotia long-term care facilities have confirmed cases of COVID-19, including:
- Admiral Long Term Care Centre in Dartmouth: two residents and eight employees
- Northwood Community in Halifax: two residents, two staff members, two home-care staff
- The Magnolia Continuing Care Community in Enfield: two residents and three employees
- Ocean View Continuing Care Centre in Eastern Passage: one resident
- Arborstone Enhanced Care in Halifax: one employee
- Harris Hall in Dartmouth: one employee
- Lewis Hall in Dartmouth: one employee
- R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish: one employee
On Monday, Nova Scotia announced measures aimed at protecting residents of long-term care facilities.
Dr. Robert Strang says he has directed the province’s 132 facilities to follow certain measures to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into long-term care homes and to reduce the spread if it is introduced into a facility
“Licensed nursing homes and residential care facilities received this directive earlier today,” said Strang during a news conference Monday afternoon. “The measures contained in the directive are effective immediately.”
The measures include:
- Residents must be screened at least once a day -- twice if possible. This includes checking temperatures.
- Staff members will undergo a quick health screen and their temperature will be taken at the beginning of their shift.
- Any respiratory illness must be reported to public health.
- Any new admissions to a facility will require health screening to ensure they haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. If they have, steps will be taken to isolate them.
- Facilities have been given clear directions and instructions in regards to testing and identifying potential contacts of COVID-19 cases.
The directive also reinforces physical-distancing, enhanced cleaning practices, and restrictions on visitors.
Nova Scotia announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 310.
The province also announced its first death connected to COVID-19; a woman in her 70s who had underlying medical conditions. CTV News has learned she died at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, N.S. on Monday.