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Hospital staff joining forces with Vision Nursing Home team to fight COVID-19 outbreak
SARNIA, ONT. -- It's all hands on deck to control the COVID-19 outbreak at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, Ont.
"Bluewater Health has sent in not only PPE, but some staff members," says Julia Oosterman, communications & public affairs chief at Bluewater Health.
"The infection prevention and control team are working closely with their team on the ground to make sure we are covering all the bases and keeping everyone safe," she adds.
There have been 41 confirmed cases including 19 staff since the first case on April 23.
With a total of six deaths including two more this weekend, officials are doing their best to control what has now become the epicentre for COVID-19 in Lambton County.
"COVID has pushed lots of collaborations where they have never been before," says Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton medical officer of health.
"I don’t remember a time when hospitals have deployed staff into long-term care homes, so its new territory for everyone. The virus transmits easily in health care settings, and even trained folks who know what they are doing have hard time controlling this virus in these types of settings."
The 41 cases is now one more than Landmark Village which had a six-week outbreak at the beginning of the pandemic.
Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley says adding in this latest outbreak is tough on the tight-knit community of 75,000 people.
"We all know someone who has passed from COVID," says Bradley.
"It's wearing people down. I declared the emergency 68 days ago, and for 68 days we've been meeting everyday meeting to try assess it."
Bradley feels the key is to deal with the prime centres like Landmark and Vision Nursing Homes.
He's happy to hear that Bluewater Health has deployed extra staff and says that it has been a great assistance to Vision.
Oosterman also praised staff at Vision saying they are doing a great job.
She says Lambton has an older population and wants residents to maintain being vigilant when ti comes to washing hands, and staying distant in public spaces.
"It’s good to hear Vision is starting to see decline in staff count and some are recovering quite well," says Oosterman.
Two other Sarnia nursing homes currently have a total of three cases, but none in recent days.
Bradley feels as the weather warms up, these types of outbreaks are far from over.
"When we see these 'COV-idiots' out there, not respecting the rules. not only their own lives, but everyone else’s lives at risk," says Bradley.
"We know people want to be out, but we can't afford to have that happen."