COVID-19 Outbreak confirmed at Trenton Walmart

Walmart in Trenton, ON. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

North-end County residents that shopped at the Walmart in Trenton at the end of November and beginning of December are among those being asked to self monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 by Public Health.

Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at Walmart Trenton effective December 5.

At the time of the announcment on Dec. 6, HPEPH has confirmed four cases of COVID-19 worked at the facility during their contagious period.

Dr. Piotr Oglaza. (HPEPH photo)

HPEPH is working together with Walmart Trenton to identify contacts of these positive cases. All high-risk contacts related to this outbreak will be instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested. High-risk contacts are required to remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days after their exposure, regardless of test results.

“We are working together with Walmart Trenton to respond to this outbreak and are confident they have implemented recommended precautionary measures to reduce risk for their staff and customers,” says Dr. Oglaza. “We recognize the declaration of outbreak may cause concern for staff and customers of the facility, and the community can be reassured we are working diligently to communicate directly with all high-risk contacts and reduce the risk of transmission both in the facility and the community.” 

At the recommendation of HPEPH, Walmart Trenton has advised all staff with potential workplace exposure to the positive cases to remain at home until HPEPH completes the case investigation and contact tracing process. This preventative measure will allow the time necessary to identify high-risk workplace contacts and ensure the risk to staff and customers of Walmart Trenton remains low. In addition to existing infection control measures Walmart Trenton has in place, they completed deep cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces before opening Sunday and an Infection Prevention and Control inspection is being conducted by HPEPH.

While the risk of transmission to customers is relatively low, individuals who shopped at Walmart Trenton on November 28, 29, December 1, 2, or 3 are encouraged to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Staff who worked at the facility but were not identified as high-risk contacts are instructed to monitor for symptoms as well. These individuals are not required to isolate unless they are otherwise instructed to do so by HPEPH. Any individuals who develop symptoms are advised to book an appointment at an assessment centre and get tested. 

All residents are reminded no one is immune to the virus and some individuals may be exposed despite their best efforts. Be kind to one another as everyone works together to stop the spread of this virus. 

 To reduce your risk and the risk to those you care about: stay home when you are sick, even with mild symptoms; always physical distance from those outside your household; wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult or not possible; wash your hands often and clean frequently touched surfaces; monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 and seek testing if symptoms develop.  

To learn more about COVID-19, how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca 

or visit Ontario’s website https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-ontario-is-responding-covid-19

To take a Covid-19 self assessment please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/

To read Dr. Oglaza’s statement on being kind during these truing times, please visit https://hpepublichealth.ca/statement-from-the-medical-officer-of-health-please-be-kind/