Further to a story about 11 people who had visited the area before learning that they were infected with COVID-19, Deerhurst Resort issued the following statement on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020:
As reported by the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, 11 members of a group of families vacationing together at Deerhurst Resort during the August long weekend tested positive for Covid-19, several days after returning to their homes outside the region. As a result of the health unit’s tracing process, one staff member was deemed at risk by nature of their position at the resort.
Deerhurst Resort has been informed today that this sole staff member has tested negative for Covid-19. The status of this test was the only outstanding area of concern for transmission at the resort at this point in time.
“While we were hoping this would not happen, the possibility of Covid transmission is exactly why all of our stringent prevention measures have been in place since we re-opened,” said Jesse Hamilton, General Manager. “Everything from capping occupancy, fully disinfecting guest rooms after each departure, frequent sanitization, social distancing in all facilities and mandatory face coverings for staff in all areas of the hotel operation have proven effective, for which we’re very grateful.”
Resort management has been working closely with the public health unit since being notified of the first case on August 8th. Upon the health unit’s assessment of the contact risk and the high degree of compliance of infection control practises, the resort was given the green light to stay open. There was no indication that the resort was unsafe for guests and staff nor that closing the resort was helpful.
Due to the evolving nature of the information and confidentiality of the risk assessment being conducted by public health, how and when to communicate the information was a challenge for the resort, especially being reassured that the safety of guests and all other staff had not been compromised.
“We can appreciate the concern of staff, guests and our community upon learning about the possible presence of Covid at the resort,” continues Hamilton. “Until important facts were fully known however, we didn’t want to add any potential misinformation or alarm to the situation. We put our trust and confidence in the public health authorities from whom we took direction, and in our own safety protocols which appear to have passed a test we never hoped to take. And we’re grateful for the guidance of the Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit in helping us navigating these unprecedented waters, and the continued support of our guests and hosts, whose safety and wellbeing remains our utmost priority.”
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