By Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
An outbreak at Bayfield Manor last month could have been much worse if not for the long term care home’s stringent pandemic protocols. The Manor was in outbreak status from January 18 to January 29. Remarkably, during this period of nearly two weeks, none of the residents contracted the COVID-19 virus – only staff were affected.
The Times spoke with Gerry Miller, the Executive Director of Bayfield Manor, about the protocols which help to prevent the spread of infection. Gerry emphasized vaccination as one of the key strategies in place.
“At Bayfield, the health and safety of our residents and staff is our first priority,” he said. “We follow all Public Health and Ministry directives, and evolve our infection prevention and control practices and policies as guidance is updated. We are proud to share that 100% of residents at Bayfield have received the 4th booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 100% of staff have received the 3rd booster dose. The high vaccination uptake results in the risk of infection or disease being significantly reduced. This, along with the many other prevention practices we have implemented, helps reduce the risk of infection.”
Evidently, prevention is critical for controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and one way that Bayfield Manor stays ahead of the virus is by conducting regular COVID-19 surveillance testing, so that asymptomatically infected staff are quickly identified and excluded from work.
Of course, restrictions which keep residents safe can also take a mental toll, especially considering that the pandemic has been ongoing for nearly two years. Staff and residents are taking a positive outlook on the current situation, which is helping everyone get through it.
“Our team and residents are also happy with the recent announcement about loosening restrictions,” Gerry said. “Being able to see more loved ones is welcome news, and having social outings expands options for safe socializing and entertainment, which strengthens everyone’s overall wellbeing.”
Next month will mark two years since pandemic restrictions began being implemented.