Hamilton

COVID-19 outbreak at Rosslyn declared over, but number of active cases unclear

The COVID-19 outbreak that infected nearly every resident at the Rosslyn Retirement Residence and led to the home being evacuated amid concerns about inadequate infection controls is over. But that doesn't mean everyone who contracted the virus there has recovered.

Retirement home where 86 people tested positive was evacuated on May 15

A paramedic pushes a stretcher into the Rosslyn Retirement Residence in Hamilton, Ont. on May 15. Eighty-six people who lived or worked at the home were infected by COVID-19. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

The COVID-19 outbreak that infected nearly every resident at the Rosslyn Retirement Residence and led to the home being evacuated amid concerns about inadequate infection controls is over.

Hamilton Public Health declared the outbreak — which began on May 10 — over as of May 29.

But that doesn't mean everyone who contracted the virus there has recovered.

Based on the provincial definition, an outbreak is deemed over when there are no new cases or evidence of transmission at a facility during a period of 14 days.

The Rosslyn was emptied, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that no new cases have appeared.

"Residents were transferred to hospital and healthcare staff were no longer working in the facility as of May 15," explained public health spokesperson Antonella Giancarlo in an email to CBC News.

"Since the facility was empty, there was no spread over the 14 day period."

The home was cleared and the majority of residents were transferred to hospital. As the number of cases continued to climb, staff members working there were also infected and sent into self isolation.

Public health has previously said all but two of the 66 residents connected to the home have tested positive for COVID-19.

Both public health and the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RRHA) issued orders to the home identifying issues with infection prevention and control and requiring it to make changes before it could reopen.

Those orders had not been met as of Friday and it's unclear when the home will be able to bring back residents.

The Rosslyn has not responded to repeated calls and emails requesting comment on the situation at the home.

Despite the fact the outbreak is considered over, public health and the RRHA will continue to monitor any concerns around health and safety at the home, said Giancarlo.

Public health officials cited "significant staffing challenges" as one reason residents at Rosslyn were transferred to hospital. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Statistics shared by the city Sunday morning showed a total of 86 cases at the home — 64 residents and 22 staff members. Eight people who lived at the home have died.

On Sunday a spokesperson for St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton reported the hospital was caring for 30 residents from the Rosslyn, while a representative for Hamilton Health Sciences said 24 residents were still hospitalized there.

Giancarlo said an updated number of active cases involving people linked to the home won't be available from public health until Monday.

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