Coronavirus: Hospice Peterborough resident among false positives due to lab error

A resident at Hospice Peterborough who initially tested positive for the coronavirus is one of the errors reported by a lab in Ottawa last week.

According to Jodi Dunn, manager of hospice residence, an individual with a cancer diagnosis had tested positive for the virus while being asymptomatic in late April.

However, Dunn says Peterborough Public Health has informed them that the result was among the 22 false positives a lab in Ottawa reported late last week.

Subsequent tests of all 20 staff, including medical director Dr. John Beamish, were all negative, Hospice Peterborough stated.

“While this news is reassuring, we were cautiously confident that we had followed all the infection control protocols to the best of our ability,” stated Hajni Hos, Hospice Peterborough’s executive director.

Hospice Peterborough continues to accept new admissions to the palliative residence and will continue to screen residents, essential visitors and staff to its London Street location, says Hos.

She said that in accordance with its outbreak management plan, the building has undergone “deep cleaning and disinfecting.” In early March, Hospice Peterborough restricted entry to its London Street building to essential visitors and staff.

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Community programs and bereavement supports are continuing remotely and through one-to-one phone calls.

Hos also thanked a long list of groups and businesses that have donated personal protective equipment to staff, including Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, Black’s Distillery, Harco Enterprises, Merit Precision Ltd., Giant Tiger (Peterborough and Lakefield), Enbridge Gas, Sweet Peach Scrunchies , Bryan Cathcart Tracking, and Ventra Plastics. She also thanked individual donors Karen Adams, Suzanne Boyer, Sandra Clements – ReMax, Mike D’Angelantonio, Beverly Handlechner, Kevin Hickey, Irma Hos, Dorothy O’Brien and Vedra and Jim Hill.

“Our number one priority has always been the care we deliver,” said board chair Shelley Barrie. “The core of our organization continues to provide compassionate care, and to enhance the comfort, dignity, and quality of life of individuals and families. Thankfully, we have been able to continue to provide a safe home for residents, their families, and staff.”

The hospice is working with the health unit, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario and the Ministry of Health to assess future work, escalating risks and contingency precautions.

“While we are not out of the woods yet, we continue to work diligently and vow not let our guard down against this horrific disease,” said Hos.

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