Monday, March 1, 2021

Enhanced COVID-19 testing taking place at long-term care homes

CK Public Health and Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) will be testing all staff and residents of the seven Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) across Chatham-Kent for COVID-19 virus.

Municipal officials say the province issued a new testing directive as part of Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes and will help both organizations better understand the status of COVID-19 in each home.

CK Public Health and CKHA will be working closely with their LTCH partners to implement this testing process.

“We have already been working closely with our community partners to aggressively test and isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially in communal settings,” said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, in a press release.

“This new directive goes even further.”

CKHA’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre will be directly assisting CK Public Health with the LTCH testing.

With support from the Municipality, a van has been provided to transport supplies and swabs as CKHA’s Assessment Centre team will be going sequentially from home to home.

In some cases, the homes have chosen to do the swabbing themselves. In these homes, CKHA will be joined by the Community Paramedics who will assist in training LTCH staff on the proper swabbing technique, Municipal officials say.

“Our Assessment Centre is pleased to step up and move outward to assist our community partners at CK Public Health in this swabbing effort,” stated Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the CKHA, in a media release.

“This proactive measure will ensure we can continue to protect our most vulnerable populations in the fight against COVID-19 as well as staff members in these facilities. It is truly a team effort and one we are proud to be a part of.”

Any staff or resident in LTCHs who develop symptoms are tested and isolated, Municipal officials say.

The new directive will ensure that all residents and staff of LTCHs are offered testing even without symptoms.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in LTCHs in Chatham-Kent, Municipal officials added.

This testing is scheduled to take place up until May 13.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 are asked to visit the CK Public Health website at, call CK Public Health’s COVID-19 intake line at 519-355-1071 ex. 1900 or email

Visit the Government of Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province is continuing to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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