SJHS members ready to ‘spit on COVID,’ together

Members of the St. Joseph’s Health System have an exciting opportunity to participate in a McMaster University study to understand the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care (LTC) homes.

The study will attempt to understand how infections spread in LTC homes, discover how the immune response in LTC residents protects or permits COVID-19 infections and determine how well vaccinations work in LTC residents.

Long-term care residents have different immune responses than older adults, partially because they have complex health conditions, may be frail and often take multiple medications. The purpose of this study is to understand what features of the immune response protect from infection, or conversely increase risk, to determine if living in a facility that has had infections (as measured by the presence of antibodies in the blood) will increase or decrease the risk of subsequent infections, and to understand how well older adults respond to vaccination.

All three organizations in the Elder Care portfolio of the St. Joseph’s Health System, which includes St. Joseph’s Lifecare in Brantford, St. Joseph’s Villa in Dundas and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre in Guelph are participating in this study. Other participants in the study include Schlegel Villages and a number of smaller LTC homes. Residents of all participating homes will have the opportunity to participate in the research.

Soon, residents, essential caregivers and staff of these homes will see posters and other information asking for volunteers to ‘spit on COVID-19 together,’ in reference to the saliva sample that staff and caregivers participating in the study will be asked to provide at regular intervals over the course of the study.

St. Joseph’s staff have been at the frontline of fighting COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and will also have an opportunity to inform how to continue to keep COVID-19 at bay going forward. The study is launching mid-March and more details will be shared in the coming weeks.

About St. Joseph’s Health System

St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS) is one of the largest healthcare organizations in Canada, and is the only system in Ontario delivering a full continuum of health care services. SJHS is a globally recognized leader for innovation in models of patient-centred integrated care. SJHS has a unique partnership with Niagara Health to leverage each organization’s strengths to bring better care to the people in the communities we serve.

For More Information

Patrick Moore
Senior Public Affairs Specialist, St. Joseph’s Health System
P: (905) 870-1293 | E: