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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 Updates2021-03-08T11:23:05-05:00
18Dec, '20

IPAC Canada Announcement of Appointment

ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT

The Board of Directors of IPAC Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of James Ayukekbong PhD CIC® as Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Infection Control.

Dr. Ayukekbong will commence his term on January 1, 2021.

Dr. Ayukekbong holds a PhD in Medical Science/Epidemiology and Certification in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC®). He is an active member of IPAC Canada and IPAC Northeastern Ontario. To date he has published 20 peer reviewed articles including commissioned reviews and editorials. Currently he is lead subject matter expert at Algonquin College and is a guest editor for the Canadian Journal of Infectious Disease and Medical Microbiology. Dr. Ayukekbong is the Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Southbridge Care Homes in Ontario. We welcome Dr. Ayukekbong to his new role with IPAC Canada.

The Board of Directors also gives its most profuse thanks to outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Victoria Williams. Her service to IPAC Canada and CJIC has been tireless. Managing the publication during the pandemic has been unprecedented and challenging. She will continue to mentor the incoming Editor-in-Chief through to the publication of the spring 2021 issue. Associate Editor, Devon Metcalf, will continue to provide assistance to the new Editor-in-Chief.

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.

Outbreak Update – Daily Update

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

Orchard Villa Long Term Care Home, Pickering, ON

  • We continue to work in collaboration with Public Health and expect this outbreak to be declared over shortly. There are currently no active resident or staff cases of COVID-19 in the home. Public Health has declared that Pine, Cedar and Aspen Units are the only areas in outbreak status at this time.

The Palace Long Term Care Home, Alexandria, ON

  • 2 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

All staff are required to participate in surveillance testing as indicated by the green/yellow/orange/red/grey rating for the region and the outbreak status at the home.

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 are wearing masks and personal protective equipment and revisiting our infection prevention and control protocols to ensure they are being religiously followed. We continue diligent recruitment efforts to hire 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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