COVID-19 variant shows up at local long-term care home

Employee tests positive for variant as vaccinations in LTC homes near completion

As Toronto works to complete vaccinations in long-term care homes, a COVID-19 variant has been found among staff in a local city-run facility.

An employee working at Castleview Wychwood Towers in the Davenport neighbourhood has tested positive for the virus this week, the city said in a press release Thursday.

This is the first-known case of the variant, considered more transmissible than the original coronavirus, in Toronto.

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The city stated the employee has not worked in the residence at 351 Christie St. since Feb. 2 and has had no direct contact with residents.

“At this time, no residents, other staff or essential caregivers at Castleview Wychwood Towers are showing any symptoms,” the press release said.

The discovery of the variant comes as the city works to complete second doses of the COVID-19 vaccination in long-term care facilities.


Mid-February target being met

“We are currently on track to complete all second doses in these settings by mid-February based on the time required of one month in-between the administration of the first and second dose of the Moderna vaccine,” Toronto Public Health spokesperson Dr. Vinita Dubey said.

The effectiveness of the first dose has been questioned after shipments of the vaccine were delayed and reduced. But Dubey said she is confident there will be no need to re-administer the first dose in any LTC homes in Toronto.

Currently 95 percent of residents in Castleview Wychwood Towers have received their first dose of the vaccine and 86 percent have already received their second dose, according to the city press release. About 75 per cent of staff have also reportedly been vaccinated.

Toronto Public Health said they are playing their part when it comes to administering the vaccine at long-term care homes.

“Senior Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) continues to work with hospital partners to host on-site clinics for residents, staff members and essential caregivers to receive the vaccine,” said Jasmine Patrick, media relations for the city.

“On-site clinics are scheduled right through until February 15, 2021 as we continue to provide opportunity for stakeholders to be vaccinated for COVID-19.”

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Posted: Feb 12 2021 6:09 pm