To friends and family of Southbridge Care Homes,
As Ontario and Canada continues to address the challenges associated with COVID-19, we would like to reassure everyone within the Southbridge community that we are doing everything we can to protect residents, staff and their loved ones, limit the spread of this virus, and save lives.
We would also like to say, to everyone that has been working with us to achieve these goals: thank you. Your support and understanding during this difficult time have been greatly appreciated, and we are so thankful for your kind words of support.
To the families and friends who have lost loved ones to this horrible illness; we are so sorry for your loss. Every one of our residents brings a light and joy to our communities that is uniquely their own, and we are grieving with you.
We would like to take this opportunity to provide reassurance to families that we are doing everything we can to limit and stop the spread of COVID-19, and we have had a good news update on this front. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued an order to health providers and organizations across the province to begin immediate testing of all residents and staff in long-term care homes across the province. This is good news, and we will work in full cooperation with the local public health authorities to achieve this in all our homes.
Since this outbreak began, with the support of the Extendicare Assist team our homes have implemented a number of additional measures to protect the health and safety of our residents, staff and their loved ones, and we would like to share them with you once again:
- All staff are screened for any symptoms of illness and temperatures of all staff are taken upon entering the building and before leaving.
- Sending any staff with signs of illness home with instructions to contact Public Health for immediate testing.
- We are working with the LHIN and Ontario Health to access additional staff.
- We have transitioned our part-time staff to full-time hours.
- Consistent with the government directive, our employees are not to work at other homes.
Infection Control and Care
- Close monitoring of all residents for symptoms of the virus as per Public Health directives.
- Residents that have tested positive are in isolation in their room with staff assigned to care for them and tray service for meals in their room.
- Staff continue to provide all necessary care and support to our residents.
- Staff are working in assigned areas to reduce the risk of carrying the virus between home areas.
- Daily contact with public health authorities and Ministry Advisors to carefully monitor the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure all necessary steps and protocols continue.
- The rooms where the residents are living are thoroughly deep cleaned and sanitized including the use of equipment specifically designed to enhance infection control.
- Increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as handrails and elevator buttons.
- Ongoing education conducted with staff to reinforce infection control procedures and all new directives.
Personal Protective Equipment Usage (PPE)
- We are providing our staff with the necessary PPE to deliver care and services to our residents and to protect our team members.
- We have ensured that an adequate supply of PPE is available in the near term, with the continued acceptance of donations from caring members of the community.
Connections to outside
- Only essential visitors are permitted to the Home following screening and provision of PPE.
- Maintaining connection and support for the residents to their friends and families through phone calls, emails, text messages or video messaging.
- Testing is being conducted for all residents and staff in partnership with the public health unit.
At Country Village, we have also implemented a number of new staffing initiatives, including transitioning part-time staff to full-time hours, hiring two new RNs and ensuring Country Village employees have only been working at Country Village since the outbreak began.
As the situation continues to evolve, we encourage families to continue to reach out to us if they ever have any questions about the measures we’ve implemented, or the health of a loved one in our care. We have established a dedicated hotline, which can be reached by calling 1-888-746-5511. We will make every effort to answer your call as quickly as possible but due to the volume of calls it may take up to 24 hours to have your call returned.