Inspector reports infractions at Barrie, Ont., long-term care home prior to deadly outbreak
BARRIE, ONT. -- As a deadly outbreak at a Barrie, Ont., long-term care home rages on, a report filed by the ministry of long-term care shows several areas of concern and non-compliance, from appropriate protective equipment to proper distancing measures that date back to the fall.
The ministry inspected the facility and reported in September that not enough was being done to prevent the virus from spreading.
The report, dated Sept. 16, states the licensee, Jarlette Health Services, failed to ensure the appropriate isolation precautions of residents.
It also brought to light issues surrounding sanitation practices and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) among staff.
The ministry issued a compliance order with a due date for the end of October. While a follow-up report says the home completed that requirement within the time frame, a re-evaluation in December found the facility was still not complying in several areas.
A report submitted following an inspection in December states, "the licensee has failed to ensure that the staff participated in the implementation of the Infection Prevention and Control program."
According to the ministry, the program requires the home to have proper signage, and staff wear a mask and eye protection and stay two metres from residents. For staff who must provide direct care, gloves, and a long-sleeved gown are required.
However, the ministry reports finding much of the same infractions as previously reported.
In one instance, it notes that a PSW wore prescription eyeglasses and said they "received direction that prescription eyeglasses were sufficient eye protection."
The report further states that one staff member wasn't aware of which residents were on isolation precautions.
Many of the infractions were reported just one month before an uncontrollable and devastating outbreak claimed 50 lives and infected nearly every resident within the facility's walls.
With a highly contagious COVID-19 variant detected inside Roberta Place, the concern has now turned to the community.
"If the B117 variant is spreading in Simcoe County, that can place additional stress on our already overburdened health care system," said Dr. Michael Lisi, chief of staff at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.
Lisi says proper PPE is vital, no matter the health care setting, as the new variant of the virus more infectious than the previous COVID-19 strain.
"The message to our employees from the health unit and infection control specialist is compliance. With standards, has to be meticulous when trying to battle this COVID strain," Lisi adds.
CTV News reached out to Jarlette Health Services on the inspections but could not get a comment.