Coronavirus outbreak at Bobcaygeon, Ont., nursing home much worse than reported: doctor

A letter written by Lindsay, Ont., cardiologist Dr. Jeremy Jones states the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at Pinecrest Nursing Home in nearby Bobcaygeon is actually much worse than what has been reported.

The letter, which has been shared several times on social media, says there are 20 other residents as well as eight other staff members that have symptoms but have not been tested.

“This additional 28 people undoubtedly are further cases of COVID-19,” writes Dr. Jones.

The Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit confirmed on Thursday that three residents at the nursing home tested positive for COVID-19.

The health unit says the residents, an 89-year-old man, 94-year-old woman and 61-year-old man are all in isolation at the facility.

“This means that there could be hundreds of cases in the community that have gone undetected,” Dr. Jones said.

“This virus is not ‘just the flu’. It is much worse. It is more contagious and makes patients much sicker.”

In response to the letter, the health unit stated:

“In his letter on social media, Dr. Jones mentions a number of other people with symptoms. As directed by the Ministry of Health, the Health Unit can only report on confirmed cases of COVID-19. What we can confirm is that all staff are being tested and they will be reflected in our local numbers if their status is confirmed.”

The health unit goes on to say it’s working with the nursing home and that all outbreak management precautions were put in place as soon as the outbreak was identified at the home.

The facility is following directions regarding visitors and screening as required by the chief medical officer of health.

The first known community transmission of COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes was confirmed on Sunday when a patient died at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay from pneumonia and COVID-19.

The man, who was in his 80s, had no travel history and no known contact with a positive case.

Global News has called Dr. Jones for comment.

-more to come.

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