COVID-19 outbreak declared at Indian Head, Sask., long-term care home

At least two people have tested positive for COVID-19 at Golden Prairie Home in Indian Head, Sask.

As a result, an outbreak has been declared at the long-term care home.

“This is a code red situation here. Some of our most vulnerable population has become infected,” said Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) president Tracy Zambory.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority wouldn’t confirm the exact number of patients or staff affected by the outbreak, but SUN says numerous staff members have been affected.

“Zambory said there are “four to five residents who have tested positive, perhaps by this time now 20 staff who have been told to isolate.”

Read more: Outbreaks and potential COVID-19 exposures in Saskatchewan for the past 2 weeks

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Zambory said she received a call over the weekend from members at the nursing home.

“The contact started off with ‘we need help, we’re in deep trouble,’” Zambory said.

Additional staff has been shifted from the Wolseley Memorial Integrated Health Care Centre to fill in for those who are in mandatory self-isolation.

“Currently, (in) the acute side of that facility, services were reduced because we didn’t have enough licensed staff or lab staff, so we’ve been utilizing those beds to look after alternate level of care residents,” said Jacqui Kennett-Peppler, executive director of primary health care for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

According to Kennett-Peppler, those residents were transitioned to Broadview Hospital to allow staff who had been taking care of them to shift to Golden Prairie Home. She added there are additional areas where the SHA could also pull from.

Read more: Wolseley mayor says low morale a challenge in recruiting staff to reopen hospital

“We looked at various homecare across the entire South East (Zone) to see if we can reduce some of those services safely to move those staff over to support Golden Prairie Home, and as well, we look at other facilities,” Kennett-Peppler noted.

“If we have any relief staff we might be able to pull from other facilities and concentrate their work at the Golden Prairie nursing home,” Kennett-Peppler noted.

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The SHA is continuing its contact-tracing investigations and Kennett-Peppler said it’s possible more staff will be required to self-isolate forcing additional resources to the area.

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A separate outbreak was declared Monday at Indian Head Bakery, but the SHA could not say whether it was connected to the outbreak at the long-term care home.

Residents in the community were surprised by the outbreaks, with Indian Head mayor Steven Cole saying he’s had multiple calls to his office.

With relatively few details available, he’s urging residents to continue to follow public health guidelines.

“We encourage people to follow the SHA, washing their hands, social distancing, and wearing a face mask when you can. It is very important,” Cole said.

There are 78 active cases of COVID-19 in the South East Zone where Indian Head is located, an increase of 13 since Friday.

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