Rumours were spreading more quickly than a virus this weekend.
It started with a Tweet that stated two seniors had died at Orillia's Champlain Manor Retirement Residence just days after residents received the bivalent booster shot. The Tweet also noted that nine ambulances had been seen parading in and out of the Fittons Road facility on Thursday.
Reports of a LTC home in Orillia, Champlain Manor, that gave residents booster 5 on Tuesday. Today: 9 ambulances attended and 2 died. As per a resident, they have never seen more than 3 ambulances in 1 day @CTVBarrieNews does anyone care?— All In (@apclaus) September 23, 2022
"There is absolutely no truth to those rumours," said Jackie Payne, the administrator of the home.
She confirmed that the home hosted a vaccine clinic on Tuesday, Sept. 20 in which the bivalent booster was given to those who wanted it. Nobody, she stressed, died after receiving the shot and while there may have been an ambulance or two at the home in the following days, it was for "routine" matters such as a broken hip, she said.
Payne said rumours such as these "serve no purpose" and only "feed the conspiracy nonsense."
There is, however, a COVID outbreak at the facility, confirmed Payne, who said that may have sparked the rumours. She stressed the outbreak is not related to the bivalent booster.
"We have traced the source of the outbreak to an outside agency," said Payne, who noted 35 residents and/or staff have tested positive. Of those, 22 are showing "no symptoms" and the others are mild.
She said 90 per cent of the home's 98 residents are fully vaccinated and have received all five doses of the vaccine. Among the rest, all but two are "partially vaccinated."
"Fortunately, nobody is critically ill here," said Payne. "It's nothing like it was two years ago ... thanks to the vaccine."
While she dismissed the rumours, she said they can have an impact. She said due to the age of many of the home's residents — the average age is 90, she explained — permission for the vaccine has to come from their adult children or caregivers.
"When they hear rumours like this, they may be leery of the vaccine even if there's no truth to it," she lamented.