Resident dies at Burlington long-term care home in midst of Delta outbreak

Tansley Woods long-term care home in Burlington, Ont. is grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak. (CTV News Toronto / Tom Podolec)

One person has now died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak involving the Delta variant at a Burlington long-term care home.

There have been a total of 16 cases linked to the outbreak at the The Village of Tansley Woods Long-Term Care Home, including the fatality.

The virus has spread within the home despite the fact that 96 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated and 98 per cent have received at least one dose.

“With great sorrow, the team at Tansley Woods is facing the loss of a long-standing resident of the community over the weekend,” Schlegel Villages, the company that runs the home, said in a statement issued on Monday afternoon. “This resident had tested positive for COVID-19 and Public Health officials have indicated that the more transmissible Delta variant is of concern in this outbreak. We are grateful loved ones were able to be with this resident and the thoughts of our entire organization are with them the team facing this sorrow today.”

Ontario has begun to loosen restrictions in long-term care homes due to the high vaccination rates among residents, allowing for indoor gatherings with up two general visitors and two caretakers.

However, the spread of the delta variant first detected in India has led to some concerns given research suggesting that vaccines are not as effective against it.

In its statement, Schlegel Villages said that the 14 remaining active cases among residents at the home are all exhibiting “mild” symptoms for now but are being monitored constantly.

The company also said that it will be holding a vaccination clinic at the home on Wednesday in cooperation with local public health officials.

“Among team members, more than 85 percent have committed to vaccination with their first dose and we know the number of fully vaccinated team members will rise with availability,” the statement notes.

There are currently three long-term care homes across Ontario with active COVID-19 outbreaks.

Those outbreaks account for 22 active resident cases and six active staff cases.

Speaking with reporters during a press conference earlier on Monday, Premier Doug Ford said that the outbreaks, including the one at Tansley Woods, underscore the importance for staff to get vaccinated as well as residents.

“I know there is some hesitancy but we just can’t risk it with our seniors right now,” he said. “If you work at a long term care home, we haven’t made it mandatory, I don't believe in forcing vaccines on everyone but think of the people you're taking care of, think of their families think of your families. Please I beg you, please get vaccinated.”