Empress Gardens COVID-19 outbreak includes just one staff member, not yet vaccinated

Only one person, a staff member not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, so far makes up the entirety of the outbreak inside Empress Gardens Retirement Residence, according to the health unit.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Empress Gardens in Peterborough, but is made up of a single staff member who tested positive and has not yet received a vaccine dose.

On Monday, March 22, Peterborough Public Health declared an outbreak at the retirement home.

Vaccinations of residents in long-term care is complete, with at least 90-per cent of residents opting to be immunized.

Inoculations of healthcare staff is ongoing, says the health unit.

“Vaccinations for healthcare workers continue at PRHC by invitation based on curated lists their employer provides to the hospital clinic,” says communications manager Brittany Cadence. “So far staff in local long-term care homes and retirement homes have only been offered one dose.”

Cadence adds while COVID-19 outbreaks have continued to occur in long-term care homes and retirement homes which have been vaccinated, those outbreaks “tend to have fewer cases and are less severe.”

In Peterborough as of Tuesday March 22, there were 55 active cases. One case of a variant of concern has been confirmed, and there are 166 presumed variant cases as well.

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health, has previously expressed concern about the dangers a variant could pose if it reached vulnerable populations before they can be vaccinated.

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