COVID-19: Providence Manor declares second outbreak amid rising case counts – Kingston |

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in another part of Providence Manor Nursing Home, the second outbreak this week.

Five elderly residents have now tested positive for the virus.

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“We’re dealing now with outbreaks here in town in long-term care,” says infectious disease expert Dr. Gerald Evans. “We’re clearly in a sixth wave, the question is how big it’s going to be.”

Providence Care officials say the outbreaks cover residence home areas known as ‘Montreal 4’ and ‘Montreal 5,’ which remain under quarantine.

“Numbers are rising and we don’t know how high they’re going to go,” Evans continues. “There’s a little bit of worry and concern that, in fact, hospitalizations are starting to fit a little bit higher curve than what was modelled by the Science Table on March 17. So, I’m concerned.”

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Some experts across the province, like Dr. Evans, are calling for the return of the Quebec mask mandate.

“I would love to see the mask mandate still in place,” Evans says. “I do think it was too early, on March 21, to take them away. BA.2 is more transmissible than BA.1 as an Omicron sub-lineage.”

“Masks are effective and they work. Broad spread use of them is really important.”

While masks are no longer mandated, KFL&A Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza does say masking is still recommended as a preventative measure.

“These measures, while it may no longer be mandated, are still a tool that we could use as part of a multi-layer approach to how we get protection against Covid,” says Oglaza. “Certainly the rationale for masking is still there, especially during times when we see potentially increased transmission. Masking indoors can still be a tool used by anyone, and that continues to be communicated.”

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Masks are still mandated in medical settings like hospitals and long-term care homes, like Providence Manor.

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