Health officials working to contain outbreak at Herbert care home
Prairie Wind Estate, a personal care home in Herbert, SK, is seen in this image. A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility on July 30, 2020. (Marc Smith/CTV News)
HERBERT, SASK. -- Testing and contact tracing is underway at Prairie Wind Estate, a personal care home in Herbert, after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility on Thursday.
"All our staff have been tested and all of our residents have been tested, we have over half of the results back for our staff and they are all negative at this point," Prairie Wind Estate Executive Director Janet Dillabaugh told CTV News on Friday.
With the outbreak currently under investigation by public health officials, Dillabaugh declined to reveal whether the positive test was a resident or staff at the care home.
Visitor restrictions have been put in place at Prairie Wind Estate while the investigation is underway.
"Since March, the additional pressure that’s been placed on all of us as staff and the fear of residents, they watch the news and what the media reports in the east has been somewhat disconcerting for them," Dillabaugh said.
Long-term care and retirement homes have been the main source of deaths related to COVID-19 in Canada during the pandemic.
Dillabaugh says the positive case at their facility of 35 residents is concerning.
"For me as a leader within the organization, this is significant and we are doing everything that we can to ensure that it doesn’t happen and now we’re doing everything we can top make sure that it doesn’t go any further," she said.
Herbert is 46 kilometres east of Swift Current on the Trans-Canada highway. The southwest area of the province has been hit hard over the past two months with total cases in the South region jumping from 17 on June 1 to 282 on July 31.
The town of 856 residents has a long-term care centre and special needs group home, in addition to Prairie Wind Estate.
Mayor Ron Mathies credits public health officials for working quickly to start containing the outbreak.
"It’s disappointing but it’s not totally shocking when you see it all over the place," Mathies said. "They reacted so quick to it, we have good people working on it, our doctor was on it right away."
Mathies says he’s pleased with how the community has worked to protect its vulnerable residents during the pandemic.
"We haven’t been visiting the hospitals and homes here for quite a while, they’ve been restricted on who can come in, a lot have been visiting from the outside, so that’s been good, but the community has been excellent, they’re very supportive," Mathies said.