Prescott-Russell paramedics test entire nursing home for COVID-19 in three hours
Community paramedics in Prescott-Russell test patients and staff at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet, Ont. April 23, 2020 (Photo courtesy of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell)
PLANTAGENET, ONT. -- Prescott-Russell Paramedics say they're responding to a demand for increased COVID-19 testing in long-term care homes, and have tested every single resident and staff member in a home in Plantagenet.
The Province has been ramping up its response to COVID-19 in long-term care settings, which are being hit hardest by the deadly virus. A memo to health-care providers and public health units urged called for testing of all residents and staff of long-term care homes, regardless of symptoms.
In a statement Friday, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) say their community paramedics were able to test 114 residents and staff at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet on Thursday. Director of emergency services Marc-André Périard said it took about three hours to test everyone.
Every person tested was asymptomatic for COVID-19, meaning they showed no symptoms of being affected by the virus; however, some people can still carry the virus without showing outward signs.
Test results from the home are pending. Officials say, should any of the tests reveal positive cases, community paramedics will be able to support the treating physicians and help ease symptoms if they were to occur.
"Our community paramedicine program reduces the need for these patients to be transported to emergency departments, by treating early signs while keeping people in the comfort of their residences," said Pierre Leroux, Warden of the UCPR Council, in a press release. "Early detection is the key to positive outcomes, and through the partnership between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Prescott and Russell Emergency Services, we are helping to ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable residents."
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reports there have been a total of 75 positive cases of COVID-19 in its region. Four people are currently hospitalized, with two in intensive care. Thirty-six patients have since recovered.