By Chad Ingram
A second COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Hyland Crest in Minden.
Haliburton Highlands Health Services was notified on March 12 that an outbreak was being declared at the long-term care home after one staff member tested positive for the virus.
“The positive test came during routine surveillance testing,” reads a March 12 release from HHHS. “With the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge region currently in the ‘Yellow – Protect’ zone, a second test was required to confirm the results before an outbreak declaration could be made. Earlier today, Haliburton Highlands Health Services was notified that the confirmation test was also positive. Further testing has revealed that this positive case is not a variant of the virus.”
Under guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, if a single resident or staff member of a long-term care facility has a laboratory-confirmed positive case of COVID-19, then an outbreak must be declared.
“Upon testing positive, the staff member immediately began to self-isolate at home and did not return to work at Hyland Crest,” the release reads. “HHHS also began to work with the HKPR DHU [Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit] to manage the situation and identify anyone who may have been exposed, in order to prevent further spread.”
All other staff members and residents of Hyland Crest have subsequently tested negative for the virus, and residents will remain in isolation in their rooms for the remainder of the declared outbreak period.
“These protocols are in addition to the stringent infection prevention and control measures that have been in place for over a year including: ensuring staff work in only one long-term care facility; actively screening all staff and essential visitors upon entry to the buildings; conducting regular surveillance testing of all long-term care staff and residents; limiting visitors to only those deemed as ‘essential caregivers’ who must undergo regular COVID-19 testing; and ensuring adequate supply and proper use of personal protective equipment at all times,” the release reads.
HHHS continues to monitor the case and work with the health unit.
“As I have said in the past, we know that COVID-19 is a very contagious virus, and even with all of the most rigorous infection prevention and control measures, cases like this can occur,” HHHS CEO Carolyn Plummer said in a statement. “HHHS will continue to deliver the best care and support possible to our long-term care residents and their families, and we remain deeply grateful to our staff and management teams for their hard work and dedication to the infection prevention and control measures that have been part of their daily lives for over a year.”
The outbreak is the facility’s second, with a first COVID-19 outbreak at Hyland Crest declared on Jan. 31 and declared over on Feb. 14. In that case, two essential caregivers had tested positive for the virus.
As of March 16, an outbreak had also been declared at the Highland Wood long-term care home in Haliburton Village, after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.