During a time when COVID-19 has devastated long-term care homes across the city and province, there are some in Ottawa that have been able to keep the virus out, including Osgoode Care Centre in Metcalfe.  

Since the pandemic began nearly a year ago, there have been no COVID-19 cases among residents. The home’s president and CEO Lori Norris credits that to early detection, masking and a hiring spree early on.  

“I probably hired close to 40-50 people in different positions so PSW positions, kitchen because our dining…moved to room dining, recreation we upped and housekeeping I’ve had to triple it,” said Norris.  

During the pandemic, one essential caregiver and a staff member have tested positive, but they had not been in the home, Norris said. 

“Frankly what we’ve seen in the unprecedented past year in terms of the care this home has given to our loved ones has just reaffirmed our choice and we’re really grateful our father is here,” said Steve Coupland whose father George is a resident at the home.  

“In almost every circumstance where the ministry had mandated certain things to happen, we had already started doing them and therefore we were ahead of the game, ahead of the curve,” said David Eggett, the chair of the home’s board of directors.  

The home is also gradually rolling out rapid testing as another tool it hopes will help keep COVID-19 out. 

Norris said even though they’ve had no resident cases so far, they remain on guard.  

“You have to remain vigilant with all if your IPAC (infection prevention and control) practices, you have to be present in the home, you have to build your team, you have to support your team, support your residents and engage with the families to come in as essential partners because we need them too,” said Norris. “We’re still in this battle and we just can’t let my foot off the throttle.”  

Sarsfield Colonial Home has also not had any cases, with the administrator crediting teamwork and extra funding from the province.  

“It goes to the management team, up to the laundry girls, the maintenance guy, the PSWs, the RNs, everybody just put their hands into the pot and made it that we were COVID-free,” said Chantal Crispin.