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This Ontario long-term care home still hasn't had a single case of COVID-19

A long-term care home in Ontario has been able to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to any of its residents since the onset of the pandemic.

"Knowing no one has COVID has been like truly a miracle," Kella Demiglio, whose mother Esther is a resident at Mariann Home in Richmond Hill.

CEO Bernard Boreland was ahead of the curve in January 2020, stockpiling personal protective equipment and implementing a number a preventive measures before provincial officials did so, including ensuring staff members were only working at Mariann Home, instead of working at several facilities, which might increase the risk for virus transmission.

He credits his SARS experience and training in helping to protect the residents and staff from COVID-19.

However, the home faced its biggest challenge in January 2022, amid the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Boreland told CTV News Toronto 20 staff members tested positive after gatherings during the holidays, but through daily testing and isolation protocols the home was able to keep the virus from spreading to residents.

"At that time, we changed our testing policy and each staff member was tested on a daily basis prior to going to work," said Boreland. "We continued to isolate for staff ten days, we didn't follow with the advice of the province, which was five days. I'm glad we did because we had staff who tested positive after five days."

Staff receive a rapid test before the start of every shift and must wait for their results before reporting to their unit. The home has also made weekly PCR tests mandatory.

"I felt safe because he provided us with the equipment and the knowledge," said employee Jeanine Dukelow.

Even with the Ontario government recently easing restrictions for visitors and lifting vaccine mandates for long-term care staff, Boreland is keeping several measures in place, including a vaccine mandate for all staff.

Anyone visiting a family member must schedule a visit in advance in order to limit the number of people inside the home at once, Boreland said.

After day trips, residents are isolated upon return and undergo rapid and PCR testing for a week.

"It's obvious COVID is still out there because I'm still getting positive tests, that's why we need to be extremely careful," said Boreland.

"If there was any concern they kept mom and the residents isolated and everything possible to keep them safe and it worked," said Demiglio. "Being extra safe is always better than letting go.”

Boreland credits his staff and families for successfully keeping Mariann Home residents COVID-19 free. Top Stories

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