Renfrew County paramedics test Valley Manor residents and staff

Yesterday staff and residents of Valley Manor Long Term Care (LTC) in Barry’s Bay were tested for COVID-19 by Renfrew County Paramedics. CEO Trisha Sammon explained that the session was part of the provincial directive that all LTC residents and staff should be swabbed for COVID-19. She said it was great working with the Renfrew County Paramedics who were “very on board with our process.” Photo above shows Paramedics Lee Chantrell (left) and Sherry Chunik at the testing station set up outside the Valley Manor doors to test members of staff.

Sammon confirmed that yesterday’s testing brought the total number of tests close to 100 percent of staff and residents, because a high percentage of them had already been tested. So far, she said, there has not been any re-testing but rather the province’s focus is on infection prevention and control in long term care facilities — this applies to any type of influenza or respiratory outbreak, not just COVID-19. She said that Valley Manor enjoys a great relationship with Renfrew County Public Health: “They’ve been very supportive, particularly through the pandemic.” 

laura-yantha          darlene-luckovitch

Above: Paramedic Lee Chantrell swabs Laura Yantha (left) and Darlene Luckovitch in the “dirty zone” as Paramedic Sherry Chunik handles the test materials in the “clean zone.” 

Valley Manor staff also came in for high praise from Sammon. She commended the Manor’s Director of Care, Gail Yantha, and her Nursing Administrative Assistant Tara Carpenter for preparing the necessary documentation on short notice during the previous evening. Test results from the swabs taken on Wednesday are expected to be available online in two to three days rather than the previous 24 hour turnaround but Sammon explained the wait time results from the higher number of tests while County  paramedics visit all long term care (LTC) facilities and retirement homes.

Ontario’s statistics for LTC facilities as reported the morning of April 29th confirmed there were no active outbreaks of COVID-19 reported in Renfrew County. The Province as a whole reported 996 deaths at LTC facilities, with COVID-19 outbreaks reported at 159 homes and outbreaks resolved at 34 homes. One of those resolved was at Miramichi Lodge, a 166 bed facility in Pembroke. Renfrew County & District continues to report just one COVID-19 related death, a 90-year-old woman who passed away at Pembroke Regional Hospital on March 29th.

Paramedic Chantrell said the team would be testing at Water Tower Lodge retirement home in Barry’s Bay yesterday afternoon. His parting words to The Current were,

Wash your hands!

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