Two staff members at Highland Wood Long-Term Care (LTC) Centre in Haliburton have tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the home. HHHS says they have been working “vigorously” with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) to identify close contacts and prevent further spread.

“Currently the HKPR is in the “yellow –protect zone” and typically this determines that a second COVID-19 test is required to confirm results of the first positive test,” explains HHHS CEO Carolyn Plummer. “Since we are experiencing an increase of COVID-19 activity in our community, HKPRDU and Highland Wood are acting cautiously and declaring an outbreak right away rather than waiting to receive confirmative test results for the staff members affected.”

“Repeat tests for both staff members occurred today and results will be known within 72 hours,” Plummer continues, “If the results of both tests are negative Public Health will re-evaluate the outbreak status of the home. According to guidance from the Ministry of Health for LTC homes, if one staff member, caregiver, or resident has a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19, this must be considered an ‘outbreak.'”

HHHS officials say they will continue to update the situation as information becomes available.