COVID-19 update November 19, 2020

As delivered by Dr. Klassen at the Nov. 19 media briefing:

Case count

  • We currently have 254 confirmed cases from the start of the pandemic, with 48 active.
  • You’ll see a drop of active cases even though our total confirmed cases went up to 254. This is because of a cluster in Perth East and our contact tracing work there.
  • We do not have any outbreaks in Huron-Perth schools or childcare centres.
  • The Knollcrest outbreak has been declared over.

Cedarcroft outbreak

We were saddened to learn of another Cedarcroft resident with COVID-19 who has passed away. HPPH sends our condolences to the person’s family and friends. [note: this is the same passing that was noted in our Nov. 18 update]

  • Current status of cases
    • Total confirmed cases: 43 residents, 19 staff
    • Active cases: 30 residents, 1 staff

Speaking of staff, I’d like to talk a bit more about staffing as it seems I wasn’t clear enough on Monday.

A staffing shortage does not say anything about the capabilities or dedication of staff – nobody questions the dedication of staff who work with our vulnerable community members, and this includes PSWs, RNs and cleaning staff. A staffing shortage means more staff is needed, which is what the larger coordinated response between the facility and the Huron Perth Pandemic Leadership team has addressed.

A staffing shortage in any setting means less people for the same amount of work. That’s not good, which is why staffing was an important situation for the partners in this response to address. If I recall correctly, I was asked about possible ways that the virus may have spread. It’s a very complex answer, and I spoke to staffing needs, the 14-day incubation period, the vulnerable population, the closed setting and the ability for COVID to transmit presymptomatic or asymptomatically. It would not be accurate to identify only one aspect, which is why one of our priorities in an outbreak investigation is to identify all lapses or opportunities for improvement. And the main goal of all partners right now is to manage this outbreak and protect our most vulnerable.

Workplaces

  • We have heard talk in the community about confirmed cases in workplaces or retail outlets. I just want to be very clear: if our investigations determine there is a risk to the public or a potential exposure that people need to be aware of we will communicate it clearly or broadly.

Schools

  • There have been no further cases at Milverton Public School or outbreaks associated with this school exposure and the investigation is closed.
  • As per provincial requirements, the school boards will post cases on their website. However, if there was no school exposure HPPH won’t be commenting on each individual case.