Seventh wave drives high case counts provincially
By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—Grandview Lodge is reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 as case counts remain high around the province, driven by the BA.5 variant-fuelled seventh wave of the virus.
“I regret to inform you that Grandview Lodge has not escaped this seventh wave of COVID-19,” said Grandview Administrator Jennifer Jacob in a statement released July 27. “As of last night a COVID-19 Outbreak has been declared.”
While Grandview Lodge consists of three units, the outbreak only impacts one, the Bridgeview unit. As of publication, the outbreak is contained to only one positive resident and three close contacts in isolation. Visitation for these residents has temporarily been limited to essential caregivers only.
According to Jacobs, there are no other restrictions in place in the facility’s other areas, with the outbreak predicted to be declared over on August 8. Should the outbreak spread or conditions change in a significant manner, Jacobs said Grandview staff will send out further correspondence, including any changes to restrictions.
“We also want to remind everyone that the variant is out there and that it remains highly transmissible so please exercise caution when visiting the home,” said Jacobs. “If you believe you ‘have a cold’, please stay home until you are symptom free, continue to wash your hands, comply with wearing a surgical mask at all times while visiting in the home, and remember to arrive ahead of time in order to complete the rapid antigen testing requirements. Please continue to strictly adhere to infection prevention and control measures that are in place to keep our residents, staff, and families safe.”
According to the most recent data released by Public Health Ontario (PHO), COVID cases remain high across Ontario. As of July 23, the PHO is looking at data from an average of 81,984 tests completed, reporting a 14% positivity rate amongst all tests.
Despite vaccine being readily available and fourth dose eligibility now expanded to all adults over 18, vaccine uptake for third dose boosters lags significantly behind first and second dose shots, with only 7.4 million, or 50.4%, of eligible Ontarians opting to return for their third dose, compared to 12.1 million, or 82.5%, for the second dose.
Ontarians are anticipating the release of new bivalent vaccines, expected to be available this fall, which reportedly protect against not only the original strain of COVID, but its variants, including BA.5.
Update – August 2, 2022
The following email was sent out after press time from Grandview Lodge Administrator Jennifer Jacob:
Hello All,We connected with Public Health today and, after considering all factors, it has been decided the best course of action at this time is to isolate all residents on the Bridgeview home area. Right now we believe there are two (2) clusters of positive cases, each with the initial vector being an outside visitor, however we are unable to rule out the possibility of resident and staff transmission. There are currently nine (9) confirmed positive residents and approximately 10 close contacts who require room isolation as well as one (1) staff member. Every newly identified positive or symptomatic resident puts our outbreak back to a day one status. At this time we believe a more relaxed approach to managing an outbreak with a higher percentage of positive cases will result in a prolongation of the outbreak and associated restrictions. Going forward we are implementing the following interventions:
- All residents will be placed in room isolation
- All meals will be room service only
- Residents may go outside – can be more than one (1) resident at a time as long as the resident is capable of understanding social distancing protocol and is compliant with the protocol
- Visitors are limited to Essential Caregivers only for all residents on the BV home area.
- Visitors are restricted to one (1) Essential Caregiver visitor at a time.
I fully understand the additional stress this places on everyone involved and we are hopeful that by taking this approach at this time, we will be able to get out of this outbreak within the next couple of weeks.Please continue with your diligent hand hygiene practices and use of PPE to reduce the risk of transmission to others and yourself. If you have questions or concerns please reach out to any member of the Management Team. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to the safety of our residents and each other. Jennifer Jacob Administrator