COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care centres and group homes are fuelling the continued spike in Newmarket cases, with 11 more cases today pushing its total to 116.
COVID-19 cases acquired as a result of an institutional outbreak are now the major cause of transmission in Newmarket. More than half the cases — which jumped from 54 yesterday to 63 today — have acquired COVID-19 in a long-term care home or community care setting.
Individuals aged 80 and over are now the largest age group in Newmarket with confirmed cases of COVID-19, accounting for 28 per cent of the 116 cases, followed by ages 65 to 79, at 21 per cent.
At least 264, or 23 per cent, of York Region's COVID-19 cases have been acquired in a long-term care, retirement or community group home.
At Newmarket's Mackenzie Place, 48 residents — the highest number in the region — and 16 health-care workers have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Mackenzie Place has increased testing for residents and staff, which has also contributed to the recent spike in the number of health-care workers in York Region with COVID-19, which remains at 69 today, according to York Region spokesperson Patrick Casey.
Three residents have died at Mackenzie Place in the last week.
Eagle Terrace Long-term Care Home in Newmarket has four residents and two health-care workers with COVID-19, and an 84-year-old man there was Newmarket's first COVID-19 related death.
At Southlake Residential Care Village in Newmarket, no resident cases are reported, however, two health-care workers have tested positive.
At the Canadian Back Institute (CBI) Dickson group home in Newmarket, four residents and five health-care workers have COVID-19.
At Chartwell Aurora Long-term Care Residence in Aurora, 10 residents and three health-care workers have tested positive.
Institutional outbreaks are being reported at 12 long-term care homes and 19 community care settings in Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Keswick, Pefferlaw, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Markham and Vaughan today.
Public health is redirecting its resources to manage the increasing number of outbreaks at group homes, York Region medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji said in a video update today.
Additional long-term care facilities and group homes are experiencing respiratory outbreaks that typically become COVID-19 outbreaks, he added.
"The group homes do not have the same culture of infection prevention and control the long-term care and retirement homes have," Kurji said.
New outbreak protocols at group homes include screening visitors and staff on entry, twice daily monitoring of residents, and the requirement that staff wear masks at all times, he said.
With 66 additional cases since yesterday, York Region's total number of confirmed cases has leaped to 1,149, and one additional COVID-19 related fatality in Vaughan brings the death toll to 52.
A 91-year-old woman, who was a resident of Villa Columbo Di Poce Centre in Kleinburg, passed away at Etobicoke General Hospital Saturday, April 18.
Of the 1,083 cases in York Region:
- 503 are confirmed in Vaughan (+ 24 today), 15 deaths;
- 278 in Markham (+ 11 today), 26 deaths;
- 116 in Richmond Hill (+ 7 today), 3 deaths;
- 116 in Newmarket (+ 11 today), 5 deaths;
- 47 in Aurora, 1 death;
- 22 in East Gwillimbury (+ 4 today);
- 19 in King , 2 deaths;
- 19 in Whitchurch-Stouffville (+ 2 today);
- 18 in Georgina (+ 4 today).
Residents are again being urged to get assessed if they have COVID-19 symptoms, and those who have tested positive and are isolating at home should call 911 before their conditions deteriorate — which can happen very rapidly, Kurji said.
"Our hospital partners are telling us that there are many known COVID-19 patients who are waiting too long before they access the hospitals for urgent care," Kurji said. "This, of course, results in worse outcomes for everybody concerned."
In fact, nearly half the COVID-19 related deaths are occurring in the community, with individuals who did not visit a hospital for care, he added.
The number of hospitalized patients in York Region remains at 44 today, with 21 cases critically ill in ICU.
Resolved cases in the region now tally 144, which is 13 per cent of the total 1,149 cases.
As of 4 p.m. April 19, Southlake Regional Health Centre reported six COVID-19 patients in ICU, and six COVID-19 patients in inpatient units. Total deaths remain at five.
A list of the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed for residents and health-care workers at all long-term care and community care settings under outbreak protocol in York Region has been added to york.ca/covid19 today.