Manitoulin Lodge staffer tests positive for COVID-19

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MANITOULIN – News that the third test of a 70-year-old female resident of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home had returned negative has been tempered by a second outbreak being declared at the Manitoulin Lodge long-term care facility. Public Health Sudbury and Districts announced that a female employee of the Lodge in her 50s at the Gore Bay home had tested positive and is currently in isolation.

The Lodge employee had no travel or known contact with the virus.

The test results from Manitoulin Centennial Manor were all returned negative.

The case in Gore Bay is listed as number 64 in the Public Health Sudbury and Districts regions.

Staff at the Wikwemikong Nursing Home announced themselves ecstatic at the news that the third test coming back from the single positive in Wiikwemkoong had tested negative for the second consecutive time, thus qualifying for “cleared” status. Once an outbreak has been declared by a positive test, that test remains listed as a positive for statistical purposes and the staff and residents of the Wikwemkong Nursing Home remained in isolation until yesterday.

“We are really looking forward to tomorrow,” said PSW Mike Jon Peltier when contacted by The Expositor on Monday. “It has been a very stressful time.” He noted that the four employees who had contact with the resident were all secluded from their families and the community with temporary quarters at Rainbow Lodge. The 14 residents who had been in contact with the resident are in isolation in the nursing home.

Mr. Peltier and his colleagues at the Wikwemikong Nursing Home have all given up their summer holidays due to the pandemic. “Our prayers go out to our colleagues in Gore Bay and Little Current,” added Mr. Peltier.

Correction/Update – May 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm

The Manitoulin Expositor had reported that the staff and residents of Manitoulin Lodge had hoped for a negative test return, however, a second test will not be done on the affected staff member.

An email to The Manitoulin Expositor from Stephanie Barber of The Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay states “As I am sure you are aware, we have and continue to operate in strict accordance with the health and safety practices mandated by Public Health, The Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Long Term Care and the Ontario Government at large. Per their directives, the Staff Member in question will not undergo another COVID-19 test prior to returning to Manitoulin Lodge. Public Health and The Ministry of Health are taking a non-testing approach and instead are mandating 14-day isolation for all those who test positive for the virus. This will be the case at our Home as well.”