With the recent influx of positive COVID-19 cases across the Rainy River District, Riverside Health Care has become aware of two new positive cases within our continuum of care. One case has been identified as a staff member at LaVerendrye General Hospital and the other is a resident of our long-term care home in Fort Frances.
The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Rainycrest Long Term Care on January 2, 2021, this outbreak remains in effect. The restriction of permitting ONLY a palliative visitor to the Home continues until further notice. This along with our added protective measures will enhance the Home’s ability to reduce the risk of transmission at this time.
In addition to the protocols instituted by the NWHU related to close contacts of our LaVerendrye General Hospital staff member, we have taken additional precautions for staff that may have had more extended contact with the individual. These added protocols were implemented immediately to ensure our environment remains safe to continue to deliver clinical programs and services, including emergency, inpatient care, surgeries, diagnostic testing and outpatient services.
Screening protocols continue to take place for anyone entering our hospitals, including all staff. Visitor restrictions at our hospital and long-term care sites remain in place. We understand that the screening process, mandatory masking and restrictions on visitors in our facilities can be difficult; however, these practices are in place for the safety of all.
The province of Ontario recently extended Northern Ontario’s lockdown, in order to help reduce infection rates and protect health care resources. The impact of these time-limited measures will be evaluated on January 23, 2021, to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be further extended. While we recognize these lockdowns are challenging, we need to remain aware that positive cases have been increasing steadily across every community in our district. We remind everyone that the actions you take during this lockdown affect the health and safety of everyone.
At Riverside, our team is remaining vigilant, recognizing that a highly proactive approach is central to mitigating the risk of COVID-19. The care and safety of our patients, residents, clients, families and the public are top priority. We thank the community for your unwavering support and commitment to the Riverside team during the COVID-19 pandemic.