Health Unit Clarifies Details of Cassellholme Outbreak

NORTH BAY, ON – The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) is still investigating the outbreak at Cassellholme. The Health Unit is consulting with experts in laboratory medicine and infectious disease regarding the COVID-19 test results of some of the individuals who tested positive. We have received conflicting expert opinions as to whether these tests were truly positive. Based on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance, it is not appropriate to clear an individual of COVID-19 based on a re-test alone, however, the peculiar circumstances at Cassellholme over recent weeks warrants further study.

No matter the outcome of further investigation, Cassellholme will remain in outbreak, due to the following:

  • An essential caregiver with a positive screen for a COVID-19 Variant of Concern (VOC), this individual has symptoms compatible with COVID-19, and attended the facility during their infectious period. This is not a false positive.
  • Requirements of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance on managing cases.
  • Data provided from the original COVID-19 test results.
  • Some of the individuals having symptoms compatible with COVID-19.
  • Asymptomatic individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 connected to symptomatic individuals.

The Health Unit does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks; it assesses the risks involved with each positive result individually using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance and public health expertise and judgement. Individuals who have met the Ministry of Health’s Guidance requirements are counted in our case numbers until more information is available. Our case numbers reflect the correct number of known individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.