By: Mike Anderson
A Pefferlaw group home for autistic residents has experienced a major outbreak of COVID-19 with eleven positive cases, according to York Region Public Health.
The outbreak at the Kerry’s Place Autism Services’ group home, located near Old Homestead Rd and Park Rd, was first declared by public health officials on April 10, when the home’s first case tested positive.
However, an additional ten positive cases at the home were confirmed on April 18 by York Region Public Health.
As of April 18, 5 p.m., York Region’s website reported 13 active cases of COVID-19 for Georgina, with one case resolved. The outbreak at Kerry’s Place now accounts for most of the municipality’s active cases.
According to a statement provided to the Post on April 18 by Susan VanDeVelde-Coke, CEO and President of Kerry’s Place Autism Services, the home currently has only four residents in their care. Two of the residents have tested positive, but are “currently in isolation, with no symptoms, and are under the care and support of our dedicated staff.”
“Our staff members are also in isolation at their own homes. We are following the protocols for positive cases, as informed by York Region Public Health, which we expect will be ongoing for another two weeks,” Ms. VanDeVelde-Coke said.
After that time, we are confident, due to the relatively small number of residents in our care at this home, that our Pefferlaw location will no longer be an outbreak site. We are not able to provide any further comment at this time due to confidentiality and our ongoing response.
Kerry’s Place will continue to work in close partnership with Ontario Public Health and Regional Health Units. Our front line staff, clinical team, and senior leadership have ensured every possible step is taken to protect our residents in Pefferlaw and throughout all our homes across Ontario. The health and safety of all our residents and our employees is our highest priority.”
According to York Public Health, besides the two residents testing positive, there are 9 staff members who have also been infected by the virus.
However, Robert Carnevale, Communications and Marketing Manager for Kerry’s Place, in an email response to the Post, says the number of staff testing positive may fluctuate.
“We are aware of these numbers, but they are already dated, since they are from April 10. Our staff is currently undergoing testing and retesting, and we suspect the numbers will be different over the course of this week,” he said.
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