Status of COVID-19 in our Homes
Through a range of measures, including visitor restrictions and active screening at the front door of our Homes, peopleCare continues to do our part to keep our residents, staff and communities safe and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The criteria for COVID-19 testing is determined by Public Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health directives. With community transmission confirmed in many locations across the province, we anticipate an increase in the number of people being tested for COVID-19. As an added precaution, peopleCare has also required a negative COVID-19 test for all residents who are admitted or readmitted to our Homes from hospital.
Public Health now declares a long-term care home in outbreak, and closed to admissions, with one confirmed case of COVID (resident or staff). Please be reassured:
- We will inform all staff, residents and families of a specific Home, if a resident or staff in that Home has confirmed COVID-19.
- We will contact you directly if your loved one becomes ill, if they are being tested for COVID-19, or if they are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure (per Public Health direction/criteria).
peopleCare Homes in outbreak:
- AR Goudie, Kitchener
In the event of an outbreak, our teams are prepared to meet the challenge head-on. We have experience managing infectious illnesses, the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff, and updated checklists and protocols for managing COVID-19 outbreaks. We will also continue to rely on the guidance of Public Health and adhere to all Ministry directives.
ENHANCED PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE
peopleCare has rigorous infection control and surveillance practices in place year-round, based on Public Health guidelines. In the past weeks, we’ve also taken a number of additional steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and ensure we are as prepared as possible, such as:
- Putting enhanced infection control measures in place and following all Public Health directives.
- Limiting who can come into Homes and actively screening everyone before they enter, including checking for symptoms, asking about travel history and taking temperatures.
- Homes are only able to receive essential visitors at this time. Essential visitors include anyone with a loved one in the Home who is very ill or dying.
- Per the direction of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, all residents have been asked to stay in the Home, except for essential medical appointments, and to go into self-isolation upon return as a precaution.*
- Reviewing our pandemic and staffing contingency plans, infection prevention and control plans, and ensuring we have the necessary supplies and personal protective equipment to keep residents and staff safe.
- Connecting daily and working closely with Ontario Public Health, the Government and the Ontario Long-Term Care Association to stay updated on the latest developments and directives.
- Communicating frequently with residents, families, staff and our communities to ensure everyone is well-informed and prepared to collaboratively respond to the evolving situation.
Early on, peopleCare developed a framework from which to make proactive, evidence-based decisions that would protect residents and staff, based on the best and most updated information available. Our approach to enhancing measures supplements Public Health and Ministry directives – and supports our shared goal to create an iron ring of protection around our Homes.
In addition to the above, all peopleCare Homes have put the following additional precautions in place to further reduce the risk of exposing residents and staff to COVID:
- Providing one surgical mask for anyone entering the Home, to wear for the duration of their shift/visit.
- Physical distancing, where possible, for residents and staff activities including dining, programs, lounges, staff room etc.
- Asking staff to only work at one peopleCare Home.
- Working with our hospital partners to ensure that all residents being admitted or readmitted from hospital have received a negative COVID-19 test within the past 24-48 hours.
These are necessary precautions to help keep everyone safe and we appreciate everyone’s support. As a reminder, washing our hands and avoiding touching our face are simple steps we can all take to prevent transmission and infection.
* There is currently no law or direction from any government body that prohibits an independent person from leaving their home if they choose to, however we strongly recommend that residents in our LTC and Retirement Homes only leave if it is absolutely necessary, for the good of our residents, staff and neighbours. We are following the latest directive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, who says “Residents of long-term care homes should not be permitted to leave the home for short stay absences to visit family and friends. Instead, residents who wish to go outside of the home should remain on the home’s property and maintain safe social distancing from any family and friends who visit them.”