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Important COVID-19 S&R Nursing Homes Updates

  • Update 1 - March 24, 2020
  • Update 2 - April 5, 2020
  • Update 3 - July 17, 2020
  • Important COVID-19 S&R Nursing Homes Update No. 3

    Friday July 17, 2020

     Dear Residents and Families,

     As you may know, the Premier recently announced changes for visitors of Long-Term Care homes.

     Notable changes include:

    • Indoor as well as outdoor visits are now allowed in designated areas
    • Up to two visitors at a time
    • Covid-19 testing attestation by visitors is required for indoor visits only

    What hasn’t changed: 

    • Visitors must pass active screening
    • Visitors must wear a mask at all times (surgical mask for indoor visits)
    • Social distancing must be adhered to at all times
    • Visits must be scheduled in advance
    • Any non-adherence to these rules will be the basis for discontinuation of visits
    • Our support for virtual visits for those unable to visit in person

    Our visitation policies and practices will be informed by the following: 

    • The process is a gradual resumption of family visitation to maintain safety for our resident, families and staff
    • The consideration of the staffing and space capacity available in maintaining safety
    • Ensure education is available about physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, infection prevention and control practices (IPAC) and proper use of PPE
    • Choosing a designated common area for visitation for minimal crossover and ensure best risk prevention.
    • Ensuring the plan includes flexibility as it relates to staffing availability, adequate supply of PPE
    • Flexibility in allowances and limitations regarding indoor and outdoor visiting options, for example a common area used with time frames to ensuring continuity for intended use (i.e. the dining room which during meal times)
    • Considering factors as in heat alerts if an outdoor family visitor with special needs required their outdoor visit to be moved to cooler indoor space

    Our approach to visiting must balance the health and safety needs of residents, staff, and visitors, and ensure risks are mitigated. 

    In following provincial directives, we will ensure the following:

    • The visitor will be actively screened active by home staff which for indoor visits includes a verbal attestation to home staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and not subsequently tested positive. Note that the home is not responsible for providing the testing. The verbal attestation is no longer required for outdoor visitation
    • A surgical/procedure mask must be worn for indoor visitation at all times.
    • In the event that a resident is self-isolating or symptomatic, family visitation cannot be permitted
    • Visitors are required to comply with long-term care home infection prevention and control (IPAC) protocols. Visitation will be cancelled if the home is in outbreak
    • Any non-adherence to these rules will be the basis for discontinuation of visits

    Please take comfort in knowing that we are most cognizant of how difficult this has been for our families and residents and we understand the importance of moving in this direction and doing so in a safe manner in accordance with government direction.

     We are dedicated to ensuring that we maintain our infection control practices for the health and safety for our residents, staff and families.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Carole Alexander

    VP Long Term Care Division

     



    Important COVID-19 S&R Nursing Homes Update No. 2

    Sunday April 5, 2020

    Support for Residents During CoViD-19

    Dear Residents & Families:

    We understand this is a difficult and stressful time for you and your families. The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our first priority and a duty we take seriously. As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, we continue to take more stringent precautionary measures to assist in the prevention of transmission of the virus and to comply with new recommendations from government officials and public health experts.

    Below you will find information regarding:

    • Isolation for residents
    • Social Distancing and Dinning
    • Essential Visitors Only
    • Limitations on Outings
    • Resident Monitoring
    • Home Environment
    • Deliveries
    • Resident Care & Staffing
    • Protecting the health & safety of residents and staff

     Isolation of Residents
    Any residents confirmed or presumed (those exhibiting possible symptoms) will/are being isolated in their rooms so that staff can monitor and provide care wearing all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).


    Social Distancing and Dining
    In order protect residents all social gatherings and functions have been deferred and social distancing has been implemented during meal times by limited the number of residents at each table and spacing tables so that they are at least six feet apart.

    Essential Visitors Only
    We are and will continue to require that only essential visitors be permitted into our homes. Essential visitors are defined as relatives who have a loved one who is palliative or critically ill. Essential visitors must comply with active screening measures, and those who fail screening or who refuse screening will not be permitted to enter. No other visitors will be permitted to enter our residences; instead they will be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available.

    Limitations on Outings
    Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health released a directive to all long-term care homes to immediately implement the following precautions and procedures for residents: “Residents of long-term care homes should not be permitted to leave the home for short-stay absences to visit family and friends.”

    Resident Monitoring
    Our Team Members are closely monitoring our residents vital signs twice daily paying special attention to any of the Covid-19 symptoms including fever, sore throat, temperature, cough, etc.. As soon as someone is symptomatic, they are placed in isolation, outbreak protocols are adopted, and a swab is taken and sent for testing.

    Home Environments
    Our strict cleaning and disinfectant protocols are being followed and include enhanced cleaning in accordance with authority driven best practices



    Deliveries

    We are accepting limited deliveries of essential items, including cards and notes of encouragement to residents.  Limitations on deliveries including specific days, times and frequencies may vary by home, so please refer to home specific communiques for details. Please make sure that all items are labeled, pre-packaged and non- perishable.  Note that care will be taken to ensure that proper infection control procedures and precautions are taken in the .handling and delivery of these items, and the deliveries that fail to comply may be discarded.

    Protecting the health & safety of residents and staff
    All staff are being actively screened when entering the building and at end of shift, including taking temperatures.  All staff are wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consistent with the task they are carrying out as specifically directed by the Chief Medical Officer for the province of Ontario.  Our homes have sufficient quantities of PPE to protect staff and residents for several weeks with additional stock on the way.

    Additionally all other heightened levels of infection control and outbreak protocols continue to be actively monitored and adhered to.



    Important COVID-19 S&R Nursing Homes Update No. 1

    Tuesday March 24, 2020

    Dear Residents and Families, 

    We want to provide you with some updated information in acknowledgment of any concerns you may have for yourself and your loved ones.  We want to reassure you that Steeves and Rozema is committed to ensuring the health and safety for our residents, employees, volunteers and service providers.

    Our ongoing communication with you is a priority for us. It is crucial that we remain calm and remember that prevention remains our best strategy. 

    Steeves and Rozema is prepared for respiratory outbreaks including COVID-19; we have solid infection and prevention protocols in place which are in keeping with provincial and federal best practices.  We have moved quickly to implement and follow all directives and protocols in line with the latest COVID-19 information.

    With the more recent escalation of events surrounding COVID-19, our full pandemic plan has been implemented at all of our homes.  Our employees are dedicated to the care and safety of our residents and are experienced at taking the necessary preventive precautions while continuing to provide care for our residents.

    It is always important, but even more so now that we all remember to keep our emotional and mental health in check; we know that anxiety can be a natural by-product of stressful times. To that end, we are committed to ensuring life within our homes carries on with recreational and nutritional programs.

    Understandably, we have received many questions from both residents and family members about the steps that we have taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can.

     

    Here are measures we have taken thus far:

    1. Steeves and Rozema’s pandemic influenza plan in response to COVID-19:

    • In order to ensure a safe and secure environment for residents, we will only allow Essential visitors until further notice.
    • We will reevaluate this measure in the coming weeks and ensure consistency with guidance on enhanced public health measures.
    • Essential visitors are identified as family members who have a resident who is in palliative care or very ill in a live-in treatment setting.
    • These visitors must continue to be actively screened
    • Those that fail the screening may be permitted to enter; but will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and not come within 2 metres or 6 feet of other residents or staff. 
    • Essential visitors also include, doctors, employees, health care service providers suppliers and contractors who will continue be actively screened before entry to protect and ensure that the care needs our residents can be met.
    • Employees go through the same active screening as you do when they enter the building.
    • Essential visitor restrictions are intended to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the home.
    • No other visitors will be permitted to enter our long-term care homes. Instead, we ask you to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies (Skype, Facetime, etc.), as available.
    • Day trips are no longer permitted. Residents can enjoy time outside with you on the premises provided that you maintain the social distancing required. 
    • We regret the inconvenience this may cause for residents, and family members; however, we must follow directives from the provincial Medical Officer of Health and related best practices in doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    2. Additional actions we are taking within the residence and home:

    • We have enhanced the frequency of surface cleaning for high-touch areas in accordance with best practices.
    • We are ensuring that all staff follow our outbreak management protocols when providing care and are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when in proximity of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
    • At present, we continue to closely monitor our residents for any symptoms correlated to COVID-19 and all precautions are in place.
    • We have secured adequate supplies of medical and pharmaceutical products, food and other essential health care and personal services, and continue to secure further supplies to sure sufficient to last throughout the duration of the outbreak.
    • We all remain vigilant in our efforts and are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our residents, families, employees, volunteers, suppliers, service providers and all other visitors.
    • For yourself, remember the best defense against the spread of this virus are preventive actions: avoid travel by air and cruise ship; wash your hands regularly; avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes; practice good cough etiquette; stay home if you are sick and get a flu shot. 

    The following are accurate and reliable information sources to stay informed:

    • World Health Organization (WHO): Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19
    • Health Canada’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Outbreak update
    • Health Canada’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Be prepared

     

    Thank you for your patience and understanding of our essential visitor process and the other measures we are taking to protect our residents and employees.

     

    Sincerely,

    Carole Alexander,

    VP Long Term Care Division