By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter
The COVID-19 vaccine has made its way to Durham Region.
Lakeridge Health is one of 19 Ontario hospitals to receive the COVID-19 vaccines as part of Phase One of the province’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan.
“This is a milestone event for our Durham Region community,” says Interim President and Lakeridge Health CEO Susan deRyk, who notes the last 10 months have meant “unprecedented challenges for so many, including team members at Lakeridge Health and people who provide care for residents of long-term care homes.”
“The beginning of the vaccine roll-out in Durham Region is encouraging as we continue to focus on an aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Debra Carlyon, a personal support worker (PSW) at Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Whitby, was the first recipient of the vaccine.
“I’m excited to be the first health care worker in Durham Region to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Carlyon. “I can go to work with peace of mind knowing that I have more than personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect me. I’m getting the vaccine to protect myself, the people I care for and my family.”
Sunnycrest Nursing Home has been dealing with a facility-wide outbreak of COVID-19 since Nov. 23.
In total, 186 cases have been reported, 144 of which have resolved, 11 are in isolation, three are hospitalized, and 28 people have died.
There are also 15 other institutional outbreaks across the region, including ThorntonView Long Term Care Home (LTCH) in Oshawa, which currently has 141 cases.
The outbreak was reported on Nov 28. In total, 92 cases have resolved, 30 people are in isolation, three are hospitalized, and there have been 16 deaths.
In Oshawa, outbreaks have also been declared at Hillsdale Estates LTCH, Hillsdale Terraces LTCH, The Carriage House Retirement Residence, and The Wynfield LTCH.
There are also outbreaks at Lynde Creek Manor, The Village of Taunton Mills, and Fairview Lodge LTCH in Whitby; Orchard Villa LTCH and Abbeylawn Manor in Pickering; Winbourne Park LTCH and Baycliffe Lodge LTCH in Ajax; Lakeview Manor LTCH in Beaverton; Glen Hill Strathaven LTCH in Bowmanville; and White Cliffe Terrace Retirement Residence in Courtice.
According to the province, the first two priority populations to receive the vaccine are long-term care employees and high-risk retirement home workers.
“While this is an important step for our community and province, Lakeridge Health continues to work with our community health partners to urge all Durham Region residents to remain vigilant, especially during this holiday season,” says Lakeridge Health Chief of Staff Dr. Tony Stone. “We still need to mask, physically distance, wash our hands and avoid in-person gatherings. Everyone has a role to play to keep health care teams safe and communities healthy.”
Ontario reported 2,202 new cases Tuesday, as well as 21 deaths. This marks the province’s eighth straight day of case counts surpassing 2,100.
Durham reported 118 new cases, up from 101 the day prior. In total, there are 901 active cases in Durham, with 869 in home isolation, 32 in hospital and nine in the ICU. There have also been 231 deaths, 198 of which are from long term care and retirement homes.
Of the 118 new cases, 16 were reported in Oshawa. Oshawa now has a total of 185 active cases with 179 in isolation, six in hospital and one in the ICU. There have also been 39 deaths, 31 of which are from long term care and retirement homes.