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COVID-19 Updates
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COVID-19 Updates

For the most up-to-date information on the outbreak in your region, please visit your local public health unit website.

COVID-19 Updates2020-11-25T09:50:19-05:00
23Nov, '20

SURVEILLANCE TESTING AND ACCESS TO HOMES

5Oct, '20

Visitor Policy Updates

The province has updated its visitor policy to address areas where there is higher community spread of COVID-19. Starting Wednesday, October 7, 2020, general visitors will not be allowed in long-term care homes in the following communities. Only essential visitors, including up to one caregiver per resident, will be allowed to visit. If the home is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 the local public health unit will provide direction on further visitor restrictions and other measures.

As of today, these are the communities where the visitor restrictions will apply:

  • City of Ottawa
  • Region of Peel
  • City of Toronto

A complete list of homes affected has been posted online. The province will update the list as the areas with higher community spread change. People planning a visit to a long-term care home are advised to contact the home in advance, to make sure the home is free of outbreaks and to get information on the home’s visitor policy and any restrictions.

Direction on safety in long-term care homes will continue to be updated as Ontario’s experience with COVID-19 evolves. The government will continue to make every effort to support the safety and emotional wellbeing of residents and the staff who care for them.

2Oct, '20

Flu Vaccine

Epidemiologists have termed the potential co-infection, “a looming double threat”. The flu may exacerbate COVID-19 or vice versa. There is yet no vaccine against COVID-19 but there is a vaccine against the flu which is available annually. The best way to mitigate risk is by receiving the flu vaccine. To learn more, click below to view our Flu Season brochure.

Flu Vaccine Brochure
11Sep, '20

September 11 COVID-19 Update

The Government of Ontario has revised its directive on visitation at retirement and long-term care homes. As of September 9, 2020, the province is expanding its indoor visitation regulations, subject to certain conditions outlined below. We know you are eager to continue visits with your loved one during this time of COVID-19 virus. We are requesting that all visitors follow these protocols to limit the potential for exposure to the virus:

  • Visitations must be pre-scheduled with the home outside of mealtimes, may be limited to 30 minutes in length and will be allowed if the home is not be in a current COVID-19 outbreak. The exception is for visits to a resident who is at end-of-life or if you have been designated as a caregiver.
  • In order to promote equitable access, residents may be limited to one general visit per week in either an indoor or outdoor setting, up to 2 people at a time.
  • For indoor visits, visitors must verbally attest to staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and subsequently not tested positive. Please note that the home is not responsible for providing the testing.
  • Visitors must verbally attest to staff that they have reviewed Extendicare’s Visitor policy that includes education on donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) prior to visiting indoors.
  • For outdoor visits, visitors are not required to attest to negative COVID-19 test. Visitors will still be required to bring and wear their own face covering/mask and must maintain the appropriate physical distance (2 metres).
  • Visitors must complete a screening questionnaire that will be asked at each visit. If you do not pass the screening criteria when reviewing the questionnaire, you must reschedule your visit.
  • Visitors must comply with long-term care home infection, prevention and control protocols, including proper use of face or surgical/procedural masks and use of hand sanitizer before and after the visit. Hand sanitizer will be provided at the home.
  • With the exception of service animals, animals are not permitted for indoor visits. They are permitted for outdoor visits.

Please contact your home to discuss details of arranging a visit with your loved one or to get answers to any additional questions you may have.

We thank you for your continued patience and support for our staff and residents during this difficult time

24Jul, '20

July 22 COVID-19 Update

We are pleased to inform you that the Government of Ontario has now revised its directive on visitation at long-term care homes. The first phase involved allowing outside visits to occur between residents and family members at homes across the province. As of July 22, 2020, the province will allow indoor visits to resume, subject to certain conditions outlined below. We know you are eager to be reunited with your loved one after several weeks of separation due to the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we will be requesting that all visitors follow these protocols to limit the potential for exposure to the virus:

  • Visitations must be pre-scheduled with the home outside of mealtimes, be limited to 30 minutes in length and will be allowed if the home is not be in a current COVID-19 outbreak. The exception is for visits to a resident who is at end-of-life.
  • In order to promote equitable access, residents will be limited to one visit per week in either an indoor or outdoor setting, up to 2 people at a time.
  • For indoor visits, visitors must verbally attest to staff that the visitor has tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and subsequently not tested positive. Please note that the home is not responsible for providing the testing.
  • For outdoor visits, visitors will no longer be required to attest to negative COVID-19 test as previously directed. Visitors will still be required to wear a face covering and must maintain the appropriate physical distance (2 metres).
  • Visitors must complete the attached screening questionnaire, which will be given to home staff upon each visit. Failure to complete the questionnaire or to pass the screening criteria will mean the visit must be rescheduled.
  • Visitors must comply with long-term care home infection, prevention and control protocols, including proper use of face or surgical/procedural masks and use of hand sanitizer before and after the visit. While hand sanitizer will be provided at the home, visitors will be expected to provide their own face coverings for outdoor visits.
  • With the exception of service animals, animals may not accompany a visit.

Please contact the home of your loved one directly to discuss details of arranging a visit or to get answers to any additional questions you may have. We thank you for your continued patience and support for our staff and residents during this difficult time.

9Jul, '20

Southbridge Care Homes Taking Action to Transform and Enhance Delivery of Seniors Care

Cambridge, ON – July 9, 2020 – As part of its ongoing efforts to transform and enhance the delivery of long-term care for seniors in Ontario, Southbridge Care Homes has appointed a new Chief Seniors’ Advocate and Strategic Partnerships Officer, a role which will be filled by former Ontario Long-Term Care Association CEO, Candace Chartier.

“Ms. Chartier brings with her more than two decades of experience in Ontario’s long-term care sector, and she has an extensive and established record of advocating for change that will benefit seniors across the province, starting with changes in our own homes,” says Ryan Bell, CEO of Southbridge Care Homes. “Her forward-thinking approach to how we care for our elderly is exactly what we need in light of the impacts from COVID-19.”

As Southbridge’s Chief Seniors’ Advocate and Strategic Partnerships Officer, Chartier will be responsible for leading and implementing the organization’s ongoing commitment to quality and care across Southbridge’s 37 care homes, including ensuring strong accountability mechanisms focused on operational standards and quality of living for the seniors we care for.

Over the past several weeks, Southbridge has further responded to the pandemic by putting  enhancements into place including:

  • Testing staff twice per month for COVID-19.
  • In addition to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) support provided by Extendicare (the manager of Southbridge’s 37 homes), Southbridge recently hired an epidemiologist who is solely focused on residents and staff at Southbridge homes; and
  • In addition to the recruitment support provided by Extendicare, Southbridge has hired a Human Resources recruiter to be solely focused on Southbridge homes.

To build on these efforts, Chartier will focus on:

  • Advocating to government and other stakeholders for change in seniors’ healthcare as it relates to the retirement and long-term care sector;
  • Advocating to government and other stakeholders for the need to expedite the redevelopment of C licensed beds into new beds, including advocating for more capacity; and
  • Developing new and fostering existing partnerships in the long-term care and retirement sectors.

“It’s true that COVID-19 has presented unique challenges in the long-term care sector. But it has also presented unique opportunities within our 37 homes to optimize the way we deliver care to our residents, and protect our staff,” says Chartier. “Long-term care needs to be considered on a spectrum of healthcare services, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring a collaborative approach to the role.”

Chartier joins the Southbridge team after having served as the CEO of Safe Haven Consulting Inc. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and the Ontario Pharmacists Association. Candace has also been representing senior care during the COVID-19 pandemic at the provincial Ontario Health strategy tables.

Outbreak Update – Daily Update

The homes noted below are in a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

Craiglee Nursing Home, Scarborough, ON

  • 36 residents and 7 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.  The staff members are currently isolating and recovering at home.   It is with deep sadness that we share that 11 residents have passed as a result of this virus.

Southbridge Roseview, Thunder Bay, ON

  • 14 residents and 4 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.  These staff members are currently isolating and recovering at home.

We are testing our staff members at a minimum of every two weeks at these homes. With community spread still being a major concern, this regular testing will help us detect new positive staff or asymptomatic staff early and limit the risk of potential exposure to our residents.

We are working closely with Public Health, with our Medical Directors,  our Epidemiologist and with Extendicare’s Infection Prevention and Control specialists and are following their directives. As well, our enhanced infection prevention and control measures remain in place such as symptom screening our residents and team members a minimum of twice daily, terminal cleaning of high-touch surfaces, ensuring that all our staff is wearing masks and personal protective equipment and revisiting our infection prevention and control protocols to ensure they are being followed. We are also hiring more staff to help ensure that we can uphold the high standard of care we are proud of providing to our residents.

Questions? We Can Help!

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