Health response teams deployed to four Ottawa long-term care homes dealing COVID-19 outbreaks

News source from CTV News

So-called health care SWAT teams have been deployed to four long-term care homes and retirement homes in Ottawa that have been hit hard by COVID-19.

The response teams are made up of health care staff from Ottawa hospitals, and provide support to staff working in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Teams have already visited Carlingview Manor, Montfort Long-Term Care Centre, Madonna Care Centre, and Laurier Manor.  

A total of 181 residents at the four institutions have tested positive for COVID-19. Eleven residents of Montfort Long-Term Care Centre have died due to COVID-19, while six residents have died at Madonna Care Community. 

Champlain Health Region Incident Commander Dr. Andrew Willmore says the Champlain Health Region, hospitals and the Ministry of Long-Term Care worked with the four health units in the region to determine the long-term care facilities in urgent need of support.

“We’ve already sent a response team to those four homes to give them support in any aspect of their response to ensure that the infection is contained and also that we have the necessary staffing and equipment to care for these patients.”

Dr. Willmore says there is a clinical arm to the teams, which includes community paramedics and family physicians to provide COVID-19 testing in the institutions.

The teams consist of staff from the Ottawa Hospital, Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Montfort Hospital, CHEO and the Champlain Home and Community Care.  Staff at the hospitals answered the call from the Champlain Health Region for volunteers to work with the response teams.

Dr. Willmore says all staff will be compensated for their work with the response teams.

The Champlain Health Region is in the process of ramping up the activities of the response teams to assist more facilities across Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

“This is something we’re taking extremely seriously. As health care providers we’re very concerned about what’s happening in long-term care homes and we want to ensure that we protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Dr. Willmore, adding the program will be expanded to cover the entire region in the coming days.

Ottawa Public Health says 233 of the 977 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa involve residents at long-term care facilities, retirement homes and hospitals. Twenty-six residents of institutions have died due to COVID-19.

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