Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Latest

Media release from Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit, April 4, 2020

The Health Unit is working with both Van Horne and Willowdale Retirement Residences in Smiths Falls to manage a COVID-19 outbreak. One staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures under the Long-Term Care Home Act have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit. The staff member is home under self-isolation and staff at both sites been instructed to report any symptoms to public health immediately.

“The safety and security of our staff and residents in these sites are a primary concern for us as is minimizing the risk of transmission,” says Sharon Ranalli, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Chartwell Retirement Residences. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to manage this outbreak and thank our staff, residents and family members for their compliance and support of our efforts. We continue to follow heightened COVID-19 infection control and screening protocols and all recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit.”

“The number of outbreaks in the last week in long-term care homes and retirement homes in the area serves as a reminder that we all need to follow the recommended actions to decrease the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community;” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health, “this incudes staying at home as much as possible keeping a distance of 2m or 6ft away from other people.”

Media release from Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit, March 31, 2020

It is with sadness that the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit reports that two older people, a man and a woman, with underlying health problems living in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area have died from infection with COVID-19. The man was living at the Almonte Country Haven Home, and the woman was living at home and died at the Queensway Carleton hospital. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is following up close contacts of the individuals.

“The home wishes to extend their condolences to the family of this gentleman,” says Carolyn DellaForesta, Administrator at Almonte Country Haven. “We wish to express that we understand and appreciate the concerns of our families and our community and assure you that our residents’ care and safety is our number one priority.”

“We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the two people who passed away as well as to the staff of Almonte Country Haven”, says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “The deaths remind us how important it is to protect the vulnerable members in our community” Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer for the Province, has recommended that all people over age 70 and people who have chronic illnesses stay at home as much as possible.

Practicing physical distancing and staying home are essential measures at this time that we are seeing an increase in the people across our region who have lab confirmed local COVID-19 infection. A quarantine period of 14 days is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

Reliable information about COVID-19 is always available by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you do not have access to the internet at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.


For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550 or susan.healey@healthunit.org.