UPDATE: COVID-19 outbreak rescinded at Peace Villa

Northern Health says it is rescinding the COVID-19 outbreak it declared at Peace Villa.

The outbreak was declared Wednesday after the health authority said a worker had tested positive for the virus.

In an update on Thursday, it said "upon additional investigation, the result confirmed that there was not an exposure at the facility."

Northern Health officials have been requested to provide more details, but were not immediately available for comment.

In its release, the health authority said, "To confirm at this time, there is no evidence of transmission of illness among staff or residents within the Peace Villa facility."

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It said the care home will shift back to restricted visitor protocols.

This is a developing story. Full release follows:

"Northern Health is rescinding the outbreak called on November 18th at Peace Villa Long Term Care Home.

"The outbreak was called after a potential exposure was identified and out of an abundance of caution. Upon additional investigation, the result confirmed that there was not an exposure at the facility.

"To confirm at this time, there is no evidence of transmission of illness among staff or residents within the Peace Villa facility.

"NH care facilities have implemented very clear policies and procedures for COVID-19 infection prevention and control, and the risk of transmission to residents, staff and physicians in a health care facility is considered low. The risk and vulnerable nature of the residents requires us to approach exposure alerts quickly and comprehensively.

"Peace Villa will begin the process to shift back to restricted visitor protocols under COVID-19 Long term Care rules and policies."

Original story:

Northern Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Peace Villa care home in Fort St. John after a worker tested positive for the virus.

The health authority said Wednesday afternoon that medical health officers have declared the outbreak as a precaution. The declaration will be in place until at least Nov. 25, which is 14 days after any potential exposure to the confirmed case.

"At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of illness among staff or residents within the Peace Villa facility," the health authority said in a statement. "In this case, it is a single lab-confirmed case in someone who worked during their potential infectious period."

Northern Health says cleaning and infection control measures have been enhanced, and that staff and resident movement has been restricted. Social visits have been temporarily suspended, though essential visits can continue, Northern Health said.

An outbreak was declared at the Rotary Manor care home in Dawson Creek on Nov. 2 after a single staff case, which later spread to residents and other workers. Two residents there have since died — one man in his 70s and another in his 80s.

The outbreak at Peace Villa was one of three new healthcare facility outbreaks reported on Wednesday. Two others were reported at Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby and Menno Home in Abbotsford.

There were 13 new virus cases reported in the Northern Health region on Wednesday, bringing the region's year-to-date total to 552.

Of those, 472 had been reported as recovered as of Nov. 18, with 75 cases listed as active across the region. Eight people are in hospital.

Full release from Northern Health follows:

Northern Health is implementing enhanced COVID-19 precautions at Peace Villa in Ft St John, following lab confirmation of a single COVID-positive case in a worker at the site. Communication with Peace Villa staff, residents, and families is underway.

At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of illness among staff or residents within the Peace Villa facility. As a precaution, NH Medical Health Officers have declared a facility outbreak, based on the criteria for declaring an outbreak in long-term care settings. In this case, it is a single lab-confirmed case in someone who worked during their potential infectious period.

NH care facilities have implemented very clear policies and procedures for COVID-19 infection prevention and control, and the risk of transmission to residents, staff and physicians in a health care facility is considered low.

Northern Health is working with staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed, and is taking steps to protect the health of all Peace Villa staff, residents and families with the following additional precautions in place:

  • Cleaning and infection control measures have been enhanced

  • Staff and resident movement in the facility has been restricted

  • Staffing levels will be maintained to provide resident care

  • Temporary suspension of social visits (essential visits are not impacted, and can continue)

The precautionary outbreak declaration will be in place until at least November 25, 2020, which is 14 days after any potential exposure to the confirmed case within the facility. If there is still no evidence of transmission of illness within the facility after that time, the outbreak can be declared over, and social visits will be able to resume.

More information on public exposures, school exposures, and facility or community outbreaks of COVID-19 within the Northern Health region.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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