COVID-19 outbreak locks down Manitoulin Lodge

GORE BAY—The Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home is still under shutdown due to the declaration of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the long-term care home in Gore Bay. Manitoulin Lodge administrator Jaime-Lynn Kalmikov told The Expositor the outbreak was declared on the evening of Monday, July 18, which originally affected 10 residents, but no staff members.

“As of July 25, 21 residents and four team members in our home have tested positive for this virus,” said Trevor Sykes, community relations coordinator of Manitoulin Lodge (with Jarlette Health Services) told The Expositor on Thursday. “Our residents are receiving the best care possible and we wish each of them, and our team members, a speedy and complete recovery.”

Mr. Sykes explained, “the care, comfort and safety of residents and our team members are our primary concern, each and every day. We proactively implement health and safety measures to safeguard our community members, often ahead of provincial regulation. And since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team members have bravely risked their own well-being to diligently care for our residents.”

“We are committed to open and transparent communication with our entire community,” said Mr. Sykes. “Our home is directly working with Public Health Sudbury and Districts and our own medical team to monitor and control this outbreak. We are committed to taking immediate actions if any public health recommendations are brought forward.”

“As you are no doubt aware, Ontario is experiencing a seventh wave of COVID-19 and a shortage of healthcare workers. Despite this, our home is fully staffed and we are proactively hiring additional team members to ensure we continue to deliver the high level of care our residents deserve,” continued Mr. Sykes.

“A major risk to long-term care homes in Ontario remains the high level of COVID-19 infection in the broader community which is then brought into our home,” said Mr. Sykes. “We understand, of course, that family members of our residents and our team members must return to their home and lives in the broader community each day. Due to the level of infection in the broader community, we continue to advocate for full vaccination, masking protocols and physical distancing for the general public. These measures, along with our home’s rigorous screening and infection and prevention control (IPAC) measures, greatly increases the safety of our residents and the general public from future outbreaks.”

Mr. Sykes said the Lodge, “continues to encourage the family members and friends of our residents to remain in close touch by way of telephone or virtual technology. Our team members are available to help set-up these much-needed conversations. And we do, of course, invite family members to reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns that they may have about this outbreak or any other matter.”

The Lodge has visitor restrictions in place with only essential caregivers having access or palliative care visitors. All COVID-19 protocols are in place and includes testing and wearing masks.

Sonya Morningstar, administrator of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home told The Expositor last Friday that the nursing home does not currently have any cases of COVID-19, while the Manitoulin Centennial Manor has also declared an outbreak. The Manitoulin Health Centre declared an outbreak within its in-patient unit at the Little Current site, as reported in last week’s edition of The Expositor.