B.1.1.7 variant detected in Ottawa long-term care home as COVID-19 outbreak grows
OTTAWA -- The B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom has been found at a city of Ottawa run long-term care home hit hard by COVID-19.
Eight more staff members and a visitor to the Centre d'accueil Champlain on Perrier Avenue have tested positive for COVID-19.
"The home remains on facility-wide outbreak. At the current time, all individuals are stable," said Donna Gray, Ottawa's general manager of community and social services in a memo to Council Wednesday evening.
"Testing results have confirmed the presence of the U.K. variant in some of the positive cases at the home."
A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Centre d'accueil Champlain on May 19. There have now been 35 cases of COVID-19 connected to the long-term care home in Vanier, involving 25 staff members, six residents and four visitors.
Gray confirmed some individuals who have tested positive during the COVID-19 outbreak have been fully immunized, receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Individuals who have received the vaccine may still carry the virus and can test positive for COVID-19," said Gray.
"All of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines are effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. The management team continues to actively promote vaccinations to staff members within the home."
In mid-May, the city said 71 per cent of staff at the long-term care home had received one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ottawa Public Health will host a staff vaccination clinic at Centre d'accueil Champlain later this week.
Gray says in order to control transmission of the virus, the following enhanced infection prevention and control protocols have been put in place:
- Ottawa Public Health on-site every day
- Ontario Health Regional IPAC Team will be on-site to support
- Changes to some resident dining processes and staff break rooms
- Regular audits of staff and designated caregivers’ personal protective equipment usage and hand hygiene
- Enhanced cleaning throughout the home
"It is really sad and I am very scared," said Monique Latremouille in an interview with CTV News Ottawa on Wednesday. She is the essential caregiver for her 99-year-old mother living at Centre d'accueil Champlain.
"She is not doing well mentally. Physically they are taking good care of her."
Councillor Mathieu Fleury raised concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak at the home and staff vaccination rates during Wednesday's council meeting.
"I am concerned because I had heard about vaccination confidence issue amongst staff in that specific facility," said Fleury. "Now we find ourselves in an outbreak."
Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches told Council that dedicated clinics for long-term care and retirement home workers will continue.
"That first dose coverage is getting better and better all the time and we are currently in the time of offering that second dose to the health care workers, with long-term care and retirement homes the priority," said Etches.
Etches warned that fully vaccinated people can still get infected by the virus.
"Where we see vaccine failure after the two doses, the most commonly is in people over 80, so it is going to be a more vulnerable population."
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Leah Larocque