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Dr. Lock Provides an Update on Secord Trails Long Term Care Home in Ingersoll

Dr. Lock says the facility remains fully staffed, everyone has been tested and admits the health unit is not sure, which staff member contracted the virus first, or how they got it.

INGERSOLL - The Secord Trails Long Term Care Home now has 7 active cases of COVID-19. 

All of the active cases are staff members and not all of them live in Oxford County. Thus far no residents have tested positive. Southwestern Public Health put out an official release about the outbreak today, which you can read online here. 

Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health Dr. Joyce Lock says the news today should serve as a bit of a wake up call.

"I am hoping that it does, make all of our community members aware that COVID-19 is still here with us, and not only that, it can spread easily, because as we saw, we have 7 people within one work setting now infected. So we do hope that this will encourage people to stick with it, in terms of physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, cleaning high touch surfaces and staying within your own bubbles as much as possible."

Dr. Lock says everyone at Secord Trails has been tested.

"Everybody in this particular long term care home has been tested for this outbreak, including staff and residents. Screening for all long term care homes or surveillance testing for all long term care homes was completed last Friday across the region, as indicated by the Premier, when we did the surveillance testing across the Province."

She explains why they aren't testing staff and residents at all long term care homes in Oxford County every day.

"The guidance documents, which are based on the best available science and the best available practices to mitigate outbreaks in long term care homes support a lot of other intervention to avoid and manage outbreaks, but regular testing of asymptomatic resident doesn't yield much benefits because it is like a snapshot at an instant. Anybody could get the virus an hour after they were tested and so just to test serially, is not a beneficial intervention to avoiding or managing an outbreak." 

Public Health does not know how the first staff member contracted the virus and they are not even sure, which staff member contracted it first. Dr. Lock says the facility remains fully staffed, following the outbreak.

"Through the collaborative actions of our community hospitals, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and Woodstock, the LHIN, through their home and community care program, the facility is fully staffed." 

Dr. Lock says all of the Long Term Care Homes in the region are following strict guidelines to prevent the spread and further outbreaks.

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