The health unit for the City of Kawartha Lakes says three residents of a long-term care home have been tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Late Friday afternoon, Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, medical officer of health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, said the residents live at Pinecrest Nursing Home on County Road 36 in the village of Bobcaygeon, 33 kilometres north east of Lindsay.

The cases are two men, ages 89 and 61 and a 94-year-old woman. All three are in isolation at the 65-bed facility, Noseworthy said.

That brings the total to 9 confirmed cases for the health unit’s jurisdiction: 6 in the City of Kawartha Lakes and 3 in Northumberland County.

“We know our older residents are more vulnerable to this virus,” she said.

“Because of the age and medical condition of their residents, long-term care homes in our area will often see a variety of illness throughout the winter months.

“Health unit staff have been working with the staff of the home for some time now to ensure infection prevention and control measures are in place.”

The source for the virus has not been disclosed.

Mary Carr, administrator of Pinecrest, says the facility has been conducting active screening of visitors since March 12, and visitation to the facility has been restricted since March 14, based on the direction of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

“We are focused on providing our residents with the best care possible during this difficult time,” stated Carr.

“Our staff are going above and beyond to ensure our residents are receiving the care they require.

“We are grateful for their commitment and for the support and assistance we are receiving from public health, our community partners and our family members.”

Carr says residents have all been isolated into separate areas, meals are being served on trays, and staff have been using personal protective equipment (PPE) in their care of all residents.

The home had seen some illness in residents in the past week and a respiratory outbreak was declared on March 18.

Tests were done on these three individuals and their test results were positive for COVID-19.

“With cases now in a nursing home in our area, it’s more important than ever that we all do our part to prevent the further spread of this virus,” said Noseworthy.

“We need to work together to protect our older and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours and this means doing our part by washing our hands, practising cough and sneeze etiquette, staying home when we are ill and not visiting medically fragile people during this time.”

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