Family members say they're concerned about a COVID-19 outbreak at a retirement home in Guelph.

Guelph General Hospital has taken over management of Heritage House Retirement Living.

Leanne Stultz, the daughter of a resident, said it's been a tense time.

"He's pretty much isolated," she said.

"They've all been left in the room and we're having tray service delivered to the room right now," said Kerri Mitchell.

An outbreak was declared on Jan. 21. Four residents and one staff member have tested positive for the disease.

The next day, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said officials found significant and conferencing deficiencies.

"There wasn't proper use of active screening at the door, there were problems with staff not properly wearing PPE according to the way they should be, there were things like expired hand hygiene products," said Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, associate medical officer of health.

He said the retirement home had been visited for previous inspections throughout 2020 and didn't follow the recommendations from officials.

The health unit issued an order for the hospital to step in.

"We've already been seeing some improvements have been made since our last visit," Dr. Tenenbaum said.

Stultz said she's already noticed a difference.

"I've got quick responses to my emails, so the transparency has been better," she said.

She added that care in the home has never been an issue.

"Staff have been great with my dad all along," Stultz said. "He likes them very much and he hopes that that continues."

However, she said she worries about him all the time.

"Are the new practices that are being put into place going to be continuing or are things going to fall back to where they were before?" Mitchell said.

Mark Ellison with Guelph Rest Home Inc. said concerns about physical distancing have to do with the building's size and layout.

"The home’s management find Public Health’s order quite troubling and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the January 22nd report and its findings in the appropriate venue – an opportunity they have not been given to date," a statement from Ellison said in part.

He also said current residents are either cleared or on their way to recovery. Ellison added that one staff member who tested positive was an outside community care worker and not considered an employee.

It's not clear how long the hospital will be running the retirement home.