General News

Shelburne long-term care homes still recovering following COVID-19 outbreaks

June 25, 2020   ·   0 Comments


It has been over two months since the outbreaks of COVID-19 struck both long-term care homes in Shelburne, and as of today (June 25), it will have been a month since the outbreak was deemed over by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. 

Now, the long-term care homes are cautiously moving to reopen, allowing for visitation with the Province’s gradual lifting of restrictions on long-term care homes and retirement homes as the number of active COVID-19 cases across Ontario continue to drop. 

“We’ve had some changes occur over the past week as the province continues to move forward with its reopening plans, most notably is allowing families to visits their loved ones in-person at long-term care homes,” said Stacey Rooyakkers, Executive Director at Shelburne Retirement Residence and Nursing Home. 

To help streamline a new visitation process, the province released visitor guidelines earlier this month, which include the requirement of passing active screening each visit, confirming a negative test for COVID-19 in the previous two weeks and following a variety of other protocols. Long-term care and retirement homes must meet the conditions that include: not being in an outbreak, communicating protocols and safety procedure to visitors and maintain prevention and control of the virus. 

Dufferin Oaks and Shelburne Retirement Residence are both currently allowing outdoor visitation of family and friends.

“Our outdoor visits and virtual visits have been very well received, with about 70 outdoor visits and 130 virtual occurring weekly,” said Brenda Wagner, Administrator at Dufferin Oaks. 

In the peak of the COVID-19 outbreaks Shelburne Retirement Residents saw 55 residents and 23 staff members test positive for the virus, with 15 deaths reported in the home. Dufferin Oaks saw four residents and six staff members contract COVID-19, with two deaths. Neither long-term care home has had a positive case since the outbreak was deemed over on May 25. 

While the province has allowed gradual visitation at long-term care homes, both Shelburne care homes are continuing to have restricted protocols on screening and testing for employees and low social numbers to maintain social distancing for residents. 

“Currently the only restrictions that have changed is that families are now able to have scheduled outdoor visits with their loved ones under guidelines established by the province and we are now able to admit new residents from hospital,” said Wagner. “The rest of the restriction are still in place.” 

Despite the mark that COVID-19 has left on the local care homes, both are slowly trying to make their way back to a sense of normal through activities within the homes and BBQ events, which have been organized to “combat the effects of isolation” said Rooyakkers. 



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