34 residents at Saskatoon care home test positive for COVID-19
A sign displayed at the entrance of Luther Special Care Home on Nov. 23, 2020. (Chad Hills/CTV News)
SASKATOON -- Nearly three dozen residents at a Saskatoon care home have tested positive for COVID-19.
In an emailed statement, LutherCare Communities said there are now 34 confirmed cases of the illness among residents at Luther Special Care Home.
Four staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19 and 23 workers are self-isolating, the statement said.
"Staffing at the care home has become strained, however, we are working with our partners within the health system and our staff as we strive to maintain our high standard of quality care," said Ivan Olfert, the home's operations lead.
An outbreak was declared at the facility on Tuesday Nov. 17.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were 815 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Saskatoon area.
COVID-19 outbreaks have stuck at least 10 care homes, according to the province.
The Saskatchewan Seniors Association President Mike Kaminski said he’d like to see stricter protocols for staff sanitization.
“I’ll give you an example; In our part of the province we have a lot of pig barns and the workers going to work there, they have to go through a changing of clothes and showering before entering, and the same before they leave,” Kaminski said, hoping a similar ritual could be adopted for staff working with the most vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission.
“Those who are more vulnerable, we have a higher level of concern about,” microbiologist Dr. Joseph Blondeau told CTV News.
Blondeau said the focus at the care home should be testing, so officials can understand the scope of the outbreak.
“And certainly staffing is one component that needs to be looked at. Visitation is another one that needs to be looked at. And also, are there movements within the facility that may need to be restricted in order to prevent residents spreading to other residents,” he said.