Since the first case of COVID-19, our staff have gone above and beyond to serve and care for residents. They have given so much of their knowledge, time and energy to ensure we are doing everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
In order to ensure we are doing everything we can to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 at our Country Village home, one of our hardest hit homes, we have requested additional staffing support from many of our local healthcare providers over the past few weeks, including the Erie St Clair LHIN, the Windsor-Essex County Public Health Unit, and the Ministry of Health. We are pleased to share with you that these efforts have resulted in the temporary on-boarding of two Registered Nurses (RNs) and four Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to support our wonderful and caring team.
We have also undertaken additional measures to ensure we are adequately staffed, and residents are cared for and protected, which include:
- Moving part-time staff to full-time hours;
- Ensuring staff caring for COVID-positive residents are only caring for COVID-positive residents; and
- Mandating that staff who work at Country Village, are only working at Country Village.
We are also happy to report that 18 positive staff cases at Country Village have been declared resolved, and these team members are returning to work after meeting the requirements set out by public health authorities.
We would also like to thank Premier Ford for recognizing the important value that these dedicated people bring to everyone’s lives during these extraordinary times. By providing temporary financial relief and benefits to frontline care workers in Ontario’s long-term care sector, the government has recognized the important role that these workers play in saving lives, and we are thankful to have them as a partner in this fight.
Over the weekend, the Ontario government shared the case data for long-term care homes in the province. We believe that knowledge is power, and this data will be instrumental in ensuring that our resources are being directed in the most effective manner possible. While the government list only contains data for homes in outbreak, we have provided below a complete counting of our cases across all Southbridge homes. An up-to-date listing of the status of our homes in outbreak can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-1.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Protecting the health and well-being of everyone within the Southbridge community is always our top priority. With the spread of COVID-19, we have strengthened our existing protocols, and have established a number of new protective measures, including:
- 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.