Coronavirus outbreak at St. Joseph’s Hospice in London, Ont., declared ‘resolved’

St. Joseph’s Hospice says the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) declared a recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus “resolved” as of April 28.

The outbreak impacted 13 staff members and five patients, St. Joseph’s said, adding that following the declaration from the health unit, it will be implementing a plan to re-open its residence to new admissions.

“The procedures were developed based on the current best practices and current guidance and directives issued by the province and in consultation with Public Health Ontario and the Middlesex London Health Unit,” said the hospice’s executive director, Janet Groen.

New admissions will also be screened and tested and only those without suspected or confirmed diagnosis of the novel coronavirus will be admitted, according to the hospice.

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St. Joseph’s Hospice has been providing end-of-life care and bereavement support in the region for over 30 years, relieving pressures on hospitals and supporting families by providing “patients at the end of life with compassionate and expert care in a home-like setting.”

In a release, the hospice said it hired an “external professional cleaning service to complete a deep clean of its premises” and also allowed for “a period of time during which the most suites remained empty.”

“The number of people dying from non-COVID-19 causes is not changing, and they still need our services and care. It’s also important that we continue to ease the burden on hospitals by accommodating those at end of life here at Hospice,” Groen added.

St. Joseph’s Hospice is allowing each patient one visitor per day, all of whom it says are actively screened upon arrival and must comply with its guidelines on mask use, physical distancing, and handwashing.

“Staff members are being assessed on an individual basis and will be cleared to return to work” by the MLHU, the statement continued.

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