Health department ramps up COVID-19 testing in long-term care homes

The Durham Region Health Department is implementing the Province’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes, to help address the increasing concerns of COVID-19 in area long-term care homes.

This plan includes aggressive testing, screening and surveillance for COVID-19 for residents and staff in long-term care homes.

“Long-term care homes across Durham Region have been hit hard and have seen many tragic outcomes associated with the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, the Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“While health department staff continue to work very closely with all area long-term care homes and retirement homes to offer guidance and information to help reduce the risks for both residents and staff, this plan will provide additional measures to further address COVID-19 concerns in the long-term care sector.”

The most recent direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health is to conduct surveillance testing for residents and staff in all long-term care homes across Ontario; this will involve testing for COVID-19 in people who do not have symptoms.

“In Durham Region, long-term care homes and retirement homes that are currently in outbreak are being prioritized for this additional surveillance testing,” reads a media release.

“There are approximately 2,700 residents and 3,500 health care worker staff in long-term care homes in Durham Region and the health department is working as quickly as possible to prioritize and test all homes.”

The latest information about COVID-19 and Durham Region long-term care homes is available by clicking HERE.

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