Canadian Red Cross sent to help long-term care home struggling with COVID-19 in eastern Ontario
The Canadian Red Cross is being sent out to help the Prescott and Russell Residence long-term care home in Hawkesbury, near the Ontario-Quebec border. (Twitter/@CUPR_UCPR)
Published Saturday, October 24, 2020 10:12AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 24, 2020 10:13AM EDT
The Canadian Red Cross is lending a hand to a long-term care home in eastern Ontario as it copes to combat with the second wave of COVID-19.
The federal agency is being sent out to help the Prescott and Russell Residence long-term care home in Hawkesbury, near the Ontario-Quebec border.
In a press release, the Ontario government said it is working with the federal government and the Red Cross to provide temporary aid to the home that is facing “significant challenges due to COVID-19.”
As of Friday afternoon, the long-term care home had 78 active cases, involving 46 residents and 32 employees. Forty-two test results were still pending.
“This has been a very serious outbreak,” Medical Officer of Health of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said in a statement on Friday. “However, we want to reassure families and the community that the Prescott and Russell Residence is receiving support from multiple health care partners in an effort to bring the outbreak under control, and to ensure that residents are being well cared for.”
The home remains closed to visitors while the outbreak is ongoing.
The Red Cross will help with epidemic prevention control, delivering meals, housekeeping, light cleaning duties and engaging with residents.
"We are grateful to the federal government for supporting the Canadian Red Cross in offering resident-centred support to help ensure the Prescott and Russell Residence staff have the resources they need to provide quality care while combating the spread of COVID-19,” Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton said in a statement on Saturday.
A long-term care home may need support from an outside source if the facility faces challenges related to COVID-19, including a surge in infections, increase in deaths and significant staffing shortages, the Ontario government said.
On Friday, the province reported 826 new cases of the virus, 841 new cases on Thursday, 790 on Wednesday and 821 on Tuesday.
“With the second wave underway, the Red Cross is well-positioned to apply the experience gained from recent long-term care work in Quebec combined with its expertise in epidemic prevention and control,” Vice President - Ontario, Canadian Red Cross, Tanya Elliott said in a statement.
To date, Ontario’s death toll from COVID-19 stands at 3,080 since late January. Of those fatalities, 1,987 were long-term care home residents and eight were health care workers.
Support from the Red Cross may be redeployed to other sites but those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, according to the provincial government.
In April, during the height of the first wave of the virus, Ontario called in the military to seven homes that struggled to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Ministry of Long-term Care said all of the homes were stabilized by the time the soldiers left in July.
The Red Cross’ assistance is part of the Ontario government’s $540 million action plan released last month to stop the spread of the virus in long-term care homes.