Second COVID outbreak at H.J. McFarland Home

H.J. McFarland Memorial Home. (Gazette file photo)

For the second time in a little over a month, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home in Picton.

Public Health said in a news release Monday the outbreak is affecting residents of the Whispering Pines and Maplewood Walk units.

On July 28, Public Health had announced the previous outbreak that was suspected on July 3 and confirmed on July 8 at the municipally operated long term care home to be over. Affected residents in this subsequent outbreak will be closely monitored and re-tested for COVID-19 on a set schedule and placed on contact and aerosol precautions.

For confidentiality reasons, H.J. McFarland Memorial Home cannot share any identifiable or additional information about the positive cases.

To help limit the spread of infection, H.J. McFarland Memorial Home has implemented several additional safety precautions, including the following measures:

• H.J. McFarland Home is closed to admissions.

• General visitors are temporarily prohibited. Residents or their substitute decision-maker must identify one designated caregiver or support worker who is permitted to visit for the duration of the outbreak.

• Visitors must conduct a rapid antigen test and get a negative test result before entering the Home and wear appropriate personal protective equipment for their visit.

• All staff members working at the Home and the residents are being tested and monitored for signs and symptoms.

•Enhanced housekeeping measures are in place, including extra cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and common areas.

• All visitors must participate in testing regardless of vaccination status. Status updates on the outbreak will be sent directly to the families of residents. In addition, updates will be shared on the County’s website and social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.