The Grey Bruce Health Unit is working with Kelso Villa Retirement Home in Owen Sound to address an outbreak of COVID-19 associated with six cases, one staff and five residents. As per ministry’s most recent guidelines, two or more cases of COVID-19 triggers an automatic outbreak within the facility. This outbreak is reflected on the Public Health website.
All six individuals were fully vaccinated. None of the cases has severe COVID-19 disease; all mild symptoms. Factoring in the transmissibility of the Delta variant, this could have been much worse. If no one was vaccinated, it is most likely all 108 residents would have been infected by now. However, with vaccine levels in the home at 95% for residents, the risk of disease spread is decreased providing a higher level of protection to all both vaccinated and unvaccinated. More importantly, the risk of severe disease and hospitalization in the residents who are fully vaccinated has significantly diminished.
The high level of vaccine in residents of the home is reassuring. However, this being the first outbreak in Grey Bruce in a facility where vaccine levels are optimal, we are responding to the outbreak with the same rigor we used before vaccination.
This incident highlights the necessity of reaching vaccine targets to protect everyone from COVID-19 and variants.
Public Health is the lead in all outbreaks and case management. Public Health will let you know if you are a close contact with someone who has COVID-19, based on a thorough risk assessment completed only by Public Health.
The individuals who tested positive have been contacted directly by our COVID-19 Case and Contact Management Team. We are working with the cases and the Retirement Home to identify others, both in and out of the work environment, who may have been exposed and to determine their risk level.
Determining who is a close contact is a decision that can only be made by Public Health. A Public Health case manager will contact anyone identified as a contact to the confirmed case, both in and outside of the Retirement Home environment. Those at risk of infection will be contacted within 24 hours of the investigation.