Outbreak at Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre declared over

Published May 28, 2020 6:35 a.m. ET

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Perley Rideau sign

OTTAWA -- Management of the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre says the COVID-19 outbreak at the 450-bed long-term care facility has ended.

"The COVID-19 outbreak was declared over at the Perley Rideau at 11:59 pm on May 25th, the 40th day since a staff member tested positive for the virus," a statement on the home's website, attributed to CEO Akos Hoffer, reads. "During the outbreak, 55 individuals – residents and staff – tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 21 residents with the virus, 10 recovered and 11 passed away. On behalf of the entire Perley Rideau community, I express our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and caregivers of those residents."

Hoffer says the 34 staff members who had tested positive have all since recovered and have been welcomed back to the facility.

The outbreak was first declared April 15.

Ottawa Public Health's latest report on outbreaks at long-term care facilities still includes Perley Rideau as an active outbreak, but there is often a delay of at least one day in reporting the end of an outbreak.

Despite the declared end of the COVID-19 outbreak at Perley Rideau, management says it is unlikely visitors will be allowed any time soon.

"There is no doubt that visits from family, friends and volunteers make an essential contribution to the health and well-being of residents," Hoffer says. "However, the vulnerability of our residents requires us to manage visitation with extreme caution while adhering to provincial guidance."

The home will only be allowing visits for family members of terminally ill residents at the end of life. Only one visitor will be allowed in, and they must wear personal protective equipment.

"The fact is: although we long for the days of open visitor access and extended stays, this virus will be with us for some time and it is unlikely that we will be able to freely welcome visitors again in the near future," Hoffer says.

Some life within the home will begin to return to a sense of normalcy. Residents will be allowed to move freely throughout the courtyards and the health centre and visit the cafeteria, while practicing physical distancing, and dining room meals will resume on a staggered schedule.

To celebrate the end of the outbreak, the home shared a video featuring music therapist Kelsea Harris and board of directors chair Kris Birchard.

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