Kitchener News | Local Breaking | CTV News Kitchener
Kitchener long term care home up to 101 residents with COVID-19, 11 deaths
KITCHENER -- Forest Heights Long Term Care Home in Kitchener has confirmed 101 cases of COVID-19 in residents and 11 who have passed away.
As of Monday morning, the Region of Waterloo's website says 40 staff members have tested positive.
The long term care home has been following updated testing guidelines from the province, which allows all residents and staff to be tested in a place where an outbreak has occurred.
Officials say the ’whole home’ testing from Region of Waterloo Public Health puts them in a better position to provide appropriate care and support.
A third of the residents who tested positive for COVID-19 are showing no symptoms, according to the release.
All Forest Heights residents who tested positive are in isolation, along with a number of other measures being in place.
Personal protective equipment is being worn by staff, enhanced cleaning is taking place, and mealtimes and activities have been adjusted to promote physical distancing.
“The care my wife is getting there is outstanding,” said Roland Ivankovic, whose wife is a resident of Forest Heights and was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. “But I am still very worried about what is going on.
“The poor staff that work there, I know from talking to them, they have to go to work even if they are sick.”
A representative from Revera, the owner of Forest Heights, tells CTV Kitchener no staff member with COVID-19 symptoms is being asked to work.
The company adds they are following provincial guidelines which allow staff who are infected, but remain asymptomatic for 72 afters after they are tested, to work with proper PPE.
The Ministry of Health confirms this guideline is in place for exceptional circumstances where all staff are desperately needed. They say the ultimate decision is made by the facility.
The Revera representative did not confirm if asymptomatic staff are currently working.
Unifor, who represent workers at Forest Heights, says they are.
“We have had members tell us individually that yes they have tested positive but yes I am here at work.” said Katha Fortier, assistant to National Unifor President.
Revera says staff are working long hours and the company is grateful for their committment to care for residents.