By: Mike Anderson

Just one day after Southlake officially handed back River Glen Haven to ATK Care, the nursing home owner is facing another potential outbreak of COVID-19.

According to public health, two residents are currently in isolation, exhibiting flu-like symptoms and awaiting test results.

“There is a suspect outbreak under investigation as a result of two River Glen Haven residents presenting with symptoms of respiratory illness,” said Patrick Casey, Director of Corporate Communications, York Region, in an email to The Post.

“At this time the residents have been swabbed for COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory pathogens and are isolating while awaiting results.”

According to public health, it takes only one resident to test positive to officially declare an outbreak.

Mr. Casey said that during any suspected outbreak enhanced surveillance, infection prevention and control measures are implemented at the home in accordance with provincial guidance. But limitations will be lifted once the suspect outbreak is declared over.

According to an email sent to family members, RGH management has recently revised its visitor policy.

In the event of an outbreak, caregivers and general visitors will not be permitted in the facility. Only essential visitors will be allowed, which are defined as those providing medical or technical services, as well as ministry inspectors.

However, essential visitors will also include family members who are visiting a very ill or palliative resident.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care extended its 90-day mandatory management order for RGH by one month on August 23, in part, to facilitate a smoother transition from Southlake’s to ATK Care’s management team.

The original mandatory management order, one of only three issued by the province, was the result of the ministry determining that ATK Care had failed to contain the outbreak that resulted in 36 official deaths due to COVID-19.

ATK Care is also currently facing several civil suits from family members who lost loved ones during the outbreak. Family members allege that ATK Care was negligent in providing a duty of care. These allegations have yet to be proven in court.

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