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COVID-19 watch declared at Providence Transitional Care Centre in Kingston

The former St Mary’s of the Lake Hospital, which currently serves as the Providence Care Transitional Centre. Photo by Samantha Butler-Hassan.

Providence Care has declared a COVID-19 watch at its transitional care centre after a patient there tested positive for the virus.

The watch was declared just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. According to Providence Care, a COVID-19 watch is “a heightened form of COVID-19 surveillance, which includes testing and monitoring for signs and symptoms.” At this time, the Providence Transitional Care Centre, located at 340 Union Street (the former St. Mary’s of the Lake site), does not currently meet the criteria for declaring an outbreak.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has been notified of the positive case.

“This is exactly why we have enhanced safety measures in place at all Providence Care sites,” explained Heather Candon, Infection Prevention and Control Director for Providence Care

“While I can’t go into the specifics of this case because of confidentiality, what I can say is some of our protective measures require patients to get tested for COVID-19 at various times during their care, even if they don’t have symptoms. With community spread growing, we aren’t taking any chances.”

Providence Care said the organization has alerted all patients on the unit, as well as their loved ones, regarding the positive case. All 30 patients at the centre will be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution, although no patients are showing signs or symptoms of the virus at this time. Additionally, all staff members identified as being a close contact of the positive case will also be tested, the care provider said.

“We’re echoing the same message from health units across the region and asking our staff and visitors to please get tested right away if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, and avoid visiting a Providence Care site until you have a negative test result. We can’t stress this enough: if you are sick, please stay home,” said Krista Wells Pearce, Providence Care’s COVID-19 Incident Command Leader. “We will continue to implement every protective precaution we can at all sites to ensure the people we serve and our teams stay safe.”

According to Providence Care, the Transitional Centre has implemented several additional measures to help limit the spread of infection, including:

  • Not allowing general visitors during the watch.
  • Contacting, testing and monitoring any staff identified as being in close contact with the confirmed case.
  • Actively screening staff for COVID-19 symptoms. They must also wear appropriate personal protective equipment, practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene.
  • Monitoring all patients to identify potential cases early.
  • Extra cleaning of all high touch surfaces and common areas.

Providence Care has also declared a COVID-19 watch on Montreal 5, a resident home area at Providence Manor, as of Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. That COVID-19 watch remains active. Providence care said of that watch that 35 residents were initially tested for the virus the day the COVID-19 watch was declared. All results from those tests came back negative, as did the tests of staff members deemed to have been in close contact with the positive case.

“The Montreal 5 residents will be tested again later this week. Once those results are in, Providence Care’s Infection Prevention and Control teams will determine a timeline for when the watch can be lifted,” the organization said in a press release.

Providence Care is a healthcare provider in southeastern Ontario, providing specialized care in aging, mental health and rehabilitation. The organization consists of Providence Care Hospital, Providence Transitional Care Centre, Providence Manor long-term care home, and more than 20 community-based support and mental health services across the region.

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