UPDATE: 6 cases of COVID-19 confirmed at J.B. Wood Continuing Care

Chris Clegg

South Peace News

Six cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at J.B. Wood Continuing Care in High Prairie.

The news was officially announced to media April 9, although a letter to staff was circulated earlier in the week about the outbreak was shown to South Peace News.

Tom McMillan, assistant director, Communications, Alberta Health services, confirmed the news in an e-mail.

“We are taking this outbreak extremely seriously,” writes McMillan in an e-mail.

“This is an incredibly difficult situation and we are doing everything possible to protect residents while also ensuring they continue to get the daily care and support they need,” he adds.

J.B. Wood, like other continuing care facilities in Alberta, is under a province-wide ban on visitors, announced April 7 by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

“As ordered by Dr. Hinshaw, the facility must follow strict infection prevention and control measures,” says McMillan.

“All residents in the facility are in isolation. Enhanced cleaning must be done multiple times every day and visitors to the site are strictly limited.”

Staff are not allowed to work in any other facilities and they are all also being screened for symptoms daily.

McMillan adds Alberta Health Services has taken the following actions to make sure the site is doing everything possible to limit the spread:

* An AHS medical officer of health is in daily contact with the site to oversee the outbreak and address any new medical needs or concerns;

* An AHS clinical nurse specialist is providing care oversight;

* Care plans are in place for each resident, and AHS is ensuring those plans are being followed;

* Infection prevention and control practitioners and continuing care auditing staff are visiting the site regularly to observe and support the enhanced care and cleaning standards as well as evaluating care provision for all residents;

* AHS continuing care leadership also connects with the site multiple times each day to assist with any supply needs such as swabs or personal protective equipment, and;

* AHS Leadership is continuously monitoring staffing levels and are working to ensure the operator secures a sustainable pool of staff to meet demands of the facility.

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