Surveillance testing finds two Iroquois Lodge employees positive for COVID-19, no threat to residents

By Victoria Gray

Writer

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-Two employees at Iroquois Lodge in Ohsweken have tested Positive for COVID-19
Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) was notified Thursday by Ohsweken Public Health (OPH) that the two workers tested positive, but no residents have tested positive.
“Both individuals were reported asymptomatic at the time of testing, which is a stark reminder to the community that testing is an important tool for containing further spread. I am thankful for the Lodge’s continual surveillance testing. We acted quickly to protect the residents and the team working at the Lodge,” Lori Davis-Hill director of health services said.
A statement released Thursday said the lodge discovered the two cases because of their surveillance testing, a safeguard that has been in place since last March when the pandemic began.
The statement said the lodge has not had a single resident with a case through the pandemic, but as a precaution the team have put a number of measures in place due to the positive employees, including retesting all residents and staff for COVID-19, temporarily isolating residents in their rooms until public health decides otherwise and continued surveillance testing.
Visiting protocols will change at the lodge, and staff will contact designated caregivers soon, the statement said.
Last year, when the pandemic started the lodge implemented continuous surveillance testing for all staff, caregivers, and contractors that come to the Lodge. The surveillance testing protects residents and staff. It follows strict Ministry standards and includes testing non-residents once a week.
The statement said the safeguard measure helped the Lodge find the cases of those individuals testing positive quickly, and before those people returned to the facility for work. The employees have been directed by public health to self-isolate, and will not return to work until a negative test is received and the 14-day isolation period is complete. “This is proof the surveillance testing is working, because it’s done all the time and reports go directly to the Ministry of Long Term Care.”
Six Nations is urging the people to keep following health and safety guidelines to stop any more spread of COVID-19 within the territory.
This means staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands often and using hand sanitizer, and avoiding large gatherings.
They also strongly encouraged that people get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms or think they may have been exposed to the virus.
It is possible to have COVID-19 and not have any symptoms, but still be contagious and passing the virus along to others.
“We must all remain diligent and do our part to slow the spread of this virus. Members are reminded to draw on the strength of our ancestors and our traditional medicines to continue this fight. We must all work together to protect one another, especially our Elders, knowledge keepers, and the most vulnerable within the community,” SNEC said in a statement.
To book a COVID-19 test at the assessment center visit www.sixnationscovid19.ca or call 1-855-977-7737 or locally at 226-446-9909.

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