Long-term care home testing finds no new cases of COVID-19 in KFL&A

KFL&A Public Health. Kingstonist file photo.

The long-term care home COVID-19 surveillance testing in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region is now complete, according to KFL&A Public Health.

Public Health announced targeted COVID-19 surveillance testing for all residents and staff in the 12 long-term care homes in the region on Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2020. Three weeks later, KFL&A Public Health is commending local long-term care homes and health care workers for their “collaboration in making the COVID-19 long-term care surveillance testing such a success,” Public Health said in a press release on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The testing is part of a larger, provincial-wide surveillance testing initiative to get a “point-in-time picture of COVID-19 in long-term care homes,” Public Health said. Here in KFL&A, the testing was completed on Friday, May 15, 2020 as per the provincial deadline.

The testing resulted in no new cases and, prior to the targeted surveillance testing, there had only been one declared outbreak in a long-term care home within KFL&A jurisdiction. In that case, one healthcare worker tested positive, and no residents tested positive.

“Long-term care staff recognize the critical importance of protecting their vulnerable residents. The leadership and staff have pulled out all the stops to have everyone tested, while continuing to manage and work in stressful situations,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health. “This is an enormous effort, involving many partners, including private and public labs, Lennox & Addington County General Hospital, Frontenac Paramedic Services, and the COVID-19 assessment centre, in addition to the homes themselves. This has been a well-oiled machine — all working shoulder to shoulder to protect the most vulnerable in our community and I am very proud of this work.”

In addition to the long-term care home surveillance testing, targeted surveillance testing for staff working in the area of emergency childcare centres (which are only open for essential workers) was also completed. All staff from four facilities have been tested, resulting in no new cases. That testing was also part of the overall provincial testing plan.

The tests carried out for both long-term care home and emergency childcare centre testing are not counted in the overall test numbers provided by Public Health or the Ministry of Health (available here).

KFL&A Public Health would like to remind residents that testing is available to anyone in the region with symptoms of COVID-19. Those who think they may have COVID-19 symptoms, or those who have been in close contact with someone who has the virus, can visit an assessment centre, or use the online self-assessment tool to see if they should seek further care.

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