Whisperwood staff, residents retest negative for COVID-19

Staff and residents at Whisperwood Villa, a long-term care home in Charlottetown, have all tested negative for COVID-19 during a second round of testing completed Friday, the province said.

Government issues release Friday night after day of testing

Residents, staff and visitors to Whisperwood Villa in Charlottetown have all undergone a second round of testing during an outbreak of COVID-19 connected to the facility, and all tests have come back negative both times, the province says. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Staff and residents at Whisperwood Villa, a seniors' care home in Charlottetown, have all tested negative for COVID-19 during a second round of testing completed Friday, the province said in a release.  

The testing was necessary after a female staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week, one of a new cluster of five Islanders who have the coronavirus. All have mild symptoms and are in self-isolation. The starting point of the outbreak was a man who had travelled to Nova Scotia and appears to have contracted the virus from someone there who had recently been in the U.S.

"I know all Islanders, especially those with loved ones connected to Whisperwood, will rest easier and feel relieved with the news that all results have come back negative," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a release  issued Friday night.

"P.E.I.'s most recent cluster of cases is a clear indication that COVID-19 is still a threat and serves as a reminder for all Islanders the importance of being cautious and continuing to follow public health measures."

A total of 129 residents and 140 staff members of Whisperwood Villa, as well as anyone who visited the facility on June 30, were tested twice in the past week. It was the second and final round of testing at the facility - all results from the first round were also negative.   

"The events of the past week have confirmed why we must remain vigilant and cautious about the spread of COVID-19," said Jason Lee, CEO of P.E.I. Seniors Homes, which owns Whisperwood.

"It is a big relief to know the second round of tests for residents, staff and visitors were all negative. We look forward to reinstating communal dining, resident activities and indoor and outdoor visitations next week."

Public health officials added that while the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in P.E.I. remains low, people are reminded to keep their circle of contacts small, stay two metres from others, wash hands frequently and wear a mask in public places where physical distancing is not possible. 

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