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3 deaths and 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Hagersville long-term care home

Three residents have died and 11 have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Hagersville seniors home.

Province's emergency order will help combat the spread, says head of Anson Place

Anson Place is one of several long-term care homes grappling with outbreaks of COVID-19. (ansonplacecarecentre.ca)

Three residents have died and 11 have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Hagersville seniors home.

Anson Place Care Centre, a Haldimand County retirement and long-term care home, has been under quarantine since last week. The first resident died on Friday. Since then, the home says, two more have succumbed to the virus.

Anson Place staff are "heartbroken," said Mike Newell, who represents the non-nursing workers through SEIU Healthcare. "They care about these residents."

"They're scared, like everybody is."

As of 10 a.m. today, there were 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haldimand and Norfolk, two mostly rural counties that share the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

Newell said Anson Place is being cooperative, and staff there have enough personal protective equipment, but they're still on edge. He's calling for an immediate meeting of the home's joint health and safety committee, which is a combination of management, workers and residents. 

"Right from the beginning of the process, all health care workers have had some concerns about their personal protection," he said.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit said in a release Sunday that it's "worked with Anson Place staff and leadership to initiate a public health management plan. The plan has been developed to reduce the risk of transmission among residents and staff."

Lisa Roth, Anson Place executive director, said the home had "a staffing crisis" before COVID-19.

A recent provincial emergency order, including a $243-million fund in the province's pandemic response plan, allows the home to cut through provincial bureaucracy and respond to and alleviate the outbreak. 

"This order allows our staff to use their clinical and professional judgment to ensure they can maximize the time they spend with residents while streamlining reporting and documentation requirements," she said in an email. 

"For example, at Anson Place, we have a qualified [personal support worker] who was previously assigned to laundry duty. We can now transfer that qualified individual into a PSW role, while another individual without those qualifications can take on laundry. Previously, the process to make this happen would have been a lengthy one."

Anson Place isn't the only area long-term care home with a COVID-19 outbreak.

At Heritage Green Nursing Home in upper Stoney Creek, four residents and workers have tested positive and at least 27 more are symptomatic and will be tested for COVID-19. There is also an outbreak at Seasons Retirement Community in Welland, where two residents have tested positive.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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