4 deaths in Guelph connected to COVID-19 outbreaks: Public Health

WATCH: The province released new modelling on Monday that suggests social distancing and public health measures may be having an impact on the spread of COVID-19, but the picture remains stark for seniors. Travis Dhanraj reports.

Guelph’s public health unit says four out of five deaths in the city are linked to COVID-19 outbreaks in health facilities.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were two active outbreaks in the Royal City: Norfolk Manor retirement home and Homewood Health Centre that specializes in mental health and addictions.

Ontario says COVID-19 community cases peaked. What does that mean for Canada?

Previous outbreaks at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Guelph General Hospital have been declared over.

Public Health has said it won’t provide specific details surrounding deaths at long-term care or retirement homes, so it’s not known where the four people died.

According to the latest numbers from Public Health, there are 89 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Guelph and five deaths, while at least 30 cases have been resolved.

In Wellington County, there are 30 cases and two deaths connected to the novel coronavirus, while 11 cases have been resolved.

New modelling released by the Ontario government on Monday showed the province has already peaked in community-spread cases.

However, cases in long-term homes, retirement homes and any other congregate setting appear to continue to grow.

The province said it is implementing an action plan for care homes that will see aggressive and expanded testing, and redeploying staff from hospitals and community care to long-term care homes.

Pilot project to increase coronavirus testing in long-term care homes in Hamilton, Guelph, Niagara

On Monday, St. Joseph’s Health Centre announced it was testing all of its 900 asymptomatic residents and staff.

Ontario reported 551 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday and 38 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 11,735 cases and 622 deaths.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Gabby Rodrigues 

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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