Anson Place outbreak over, County reopens its office

By Kaitlyn Clark

The Haldimand Press

HALDIMAND—Anson Place Care Centre announced June 25, 2020 that their “COVID-19 outbreak is officially over”, said Gershon Fordsham, Interim Executive Director.

Fordsham said he was “very pleased” with the news that all positive cases at the facility had been declared resolved by public health. At the height of its outbreak, Anson Place saw about three dozen staff members and over 70 residents of the long-term care and retirement residences contract the virus, with 27 residents dying from COVID-19. The first cases were seen at the end of March and grew over the following month. On May 8, Anson Place announced the first of its residents to previously test positive had officially been resolved as they tested negative twice.

Previous Executive Director Lisa Roth is said to be “taking some well-deserved time away.” Fordsham thanked her for her leadership, along with the rest of the home’s staff: “It is only because of their tireless commitment that we defeated this horrible virus. Thank you to each and every one of you. And thank you to your families for giving us so much of your time.”

Fordsham also extended his thanks to the Hagersville community “who came together throughout these past few months and supported the home with words of encouragement and gifts of support.”

While the outbreak is over and Anson Place has taken steps to normalize life for its residents, such as the previously-reported outdoor walking program, precautions will continue: “To ensure the COVID-19 virus does not re-enter the home, all infection prevention and control measures will remain in place. Residents will continue to receive in-room meal services and will be closely monitored for COVID-19 symptoms. Anson Place staff will also be monitored daily in addition to routine COVID-19 testing each month. Staff will maintain enhanced cleaning protocols, the use of personal protective equipment as directed by public health, and increased safety precautions during resident activities, including the walking programs in both the retirement residence and the care centre.”

While Anson Place has come to the end of its outbreak, the Scotlynn Group farm outbreak continues. As of June 24, about 200 of the 220 migrant farm workers had tested positive, although about 140 of those had completed the 14-day self-isolation period required after the outbreak.

However, another sign of returning to normalcy was the reopening of the Haldimand County Administrative Building on Monday, June 29, followed by the first in-person Council meeting at the new building on June 30.

All visitors to the building, located at 53 Thorburn St. S. in Cayuga, are required to complete self-screening prior to entering to protect the safety of staff and the community. Individuals who are symptomatic or fail the self-screening are asked to refrain from entering the building.

Once inside, visitors will see blue, green, and red floor stickers installed to direct them to appropriate service areas. Areas of the lobby have been marked off to denote waiting areas for services that are by appointment to ensure capacity limits and physical distancing requirements are maintained. General customer service walk-ins will be welcome and served on a first come, first served basis, however, some services will be offered by appointment only, such as planning services, marriage licences, and burn permits.

Any temporary burn permits issued during the office closure will expire on August 31, 2020. Inquiries for new burn permits should be directed to Haldimand County customer service at 905-318-5932 or info@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Libraries will also be reopening on July 6 for circulation counter assistance and public access computer use. Browsing the library’s physical collections will not be permitted until a later date.

Once libraries reopen, residents will be able to use online self-service kiosks (‘myHC’) located within the Dunnville, Selkirk, Hagersville, Caledonia, and Jarvis libraries to pay municipal bills or access online services.

Residents are reminded that a number of municipal services are available online and do not require an in-person visit. For more information on service impacts or appointments, visit haldimandcounty.ca/covid-19 or call 905-318-5932. A contact form is also available at haldimandcounty.ca/connect.

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