The company that operates Southlake Residential Care Village is defending its handling of the fourth COVID-19 outbreak inside its Newmarket long-term care home after being issued a compliance order by York Region's medical officer of health.
The section 29 order was issued yesterday by Dr. Karim Kurji under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for "inadequate staffing levels and insufficient infection, prevention and control practices."
In response, the facility is defending the work its staff has been doing to manage the outbreak, and stated that it is dealing with the issues cited in the order.
"The team at Southlake Residential Care Village has worked immensely hard for our residents throughout the pandemic. It is critical they are supported in removing the virus as quickly as possible, and we are providing every resource available to help them," reads an email statement to NewmarketToday.
"We follow the guidance of Public Health on measures to contain viral spread, which is the first concern for homes in outbreak. All issues identified in recent reports have been addressed or are in the process of being rectified, in working together with the Local Health Integration Network, the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Public Health."
As of Wednesday evening, the current outbreak, which began on March 7, has caused one death and two confirmed cases in residents. Eleven health-care workers have been infected, including two family members who act as essential caregivers.
The long-term care home said it identified the need for things such as enhanced staff training for infection prevention and control measures, as well as PPE use to supplement the in-home audits it was already doing.
Additional staff were sent from the Local Health Integration Network, the company said, so the facility is now fully staffed.
"Staff have been assigned specifically to perform audits on use of PPE and hand hygiene practices in the home and to provide back-up support to our care teams and clinical safety leads. We continue to have an ample supply of PPE within the home, have purchased additional cleaning supplies in line with Public Health recommendations and have posted updated signage in staff break rooms to support our team members with best practices," reads the statement.
The company said it will continue to work with the health unit and its other partners to implement the most up-to-date infection prevention and control policies it can.
"Our first priority, as always, is to maintain the health and safety of our residents, while keeping families informed. We must remain vigilant and use every available precaution until this virus is no longer a threat."
-This article has been edited to attribute the statement to Southlake Village after the management company, Extendicare, clarified they had provided it on behalf of the facility.