No confirmed COVID patients at Bluewater Health

Bluewater Health April 25, 2019 Photo by Melanie Irwin

COVID-19 figures from Bluewater Health are very encouraging.

The hospital, as of Monday, is reporting that for the first time since March 21 it no longer has any COVID-positive patients at its Sarnia site.

There are still 17 in hospital suspected of having the virus with tests pending.

Bluewater Health Communications Chief Julia Oosterman said the final Vision Nursing Home resident was discharged back to the Wellington Street home Monday morning.

She said they will continue to help Vision as the outbreak wanes.

“So we’re going to continue to provide audits — we did at one point have up to about 25 staff in the home and now we’re down to I believe just two — but we’re going to continue to do weekly audits and to ensure that everything that needs to be done is happening and just continue to support them,” she said.

“It’s important that we are both able to ensure continuity and sustainability. It’s really important that we don’t just return these eight people and then they come back to hospital in two weeks, that’s no one’s goal. Vision is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that their residents are safe and healthy in their home and we’re going to help them with that.”

Oosterman said the hospital teamed-up with Vision a few weeks ago and that she’s very proud of the collaboration with Vision.

“Our long-term care situation in Sarnia was not that dire, but we decided as a collaboration between both Vision and Lambton Public Health and through the hospital, that it would be wise that we collaborate before there were any orders, anything that dire, that we decided to work together and to really try and investigate what was causing the spread and how we could get it under control,” said Oosterman.

“And there was no ego on either side, it wasn’t like ‘you’re wrong, we’re right,’ it was very much a collaboration of both teams coming together and saying ‘hey, this is a really unknown virus, it’s a big, massive, scary thing, people are getting sick — how can we combat it?’ So it was very impactful to Vision and it was very impactful for Bluewater Health.”

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said the hospital numbers are a good indicator of the local COVID trend, and he says if there are no new cases, the outbreak at Vision could be declared over later this week.

There have been 54 confirmed cases at the home including 26 residents, and 10 have died.