The Provincial Public Health orders are asking people to limit their contacts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We decided to do the same.
Given the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in personal care homes, the daily active cases and the test positivity rate (14%), all Actionmarguerite personal care home and supportive housing sites will remain closed to essential visitors and general visitation until at least December 1, 2020. Exceptions will be made at end of life.
We know many families were hoping to be able to see their loved ones. I assure you that we struggled with making this decision, but in light of the COVID-19 crisis in other personal care homes and in hospitals, we need to reinforce safe care and safe operations. The high number of COVID-19 cases affecting both residents and staff in personal care homes concerns us greatly.
Our plan to respond to a resident outbreak is in place and our success only depends on the following:
Preventing the COVID-19 virus from entering our facilities.
We test any resident who show very early symptoms. We screen our staff and do not allow them to work if they are sick. In fact, we expect them to stay home if they are not well. We monitor the use of PPE and infection control protocols, including regular cleaning of high-touch areas. We are ensuring that our staff are equipped with N-95 masks when required. We continue to conduct ”table-top” exercises to ensure staff know what to do all times. We require staff to physically distance and wear their masks and goggles at all times during their breaks as well as a mask when entering or leaving the premises.
Quickly responding to and isolating residents who show symptoms.
Plans are in place to transfer any resident who is confirmed COVID-19 positive to our “Area 19”. Each site has a dedicated space, off the unit, that is equipped to care for positive resident cases. The assigned staff will be exclusive to the Area-19. This cohort plan aims to control any potential spread of the virus on the unit.
Supporting and ensuring sufficient staff is available to care for residents during a COVID-19 resident outbreak.
This includes early identification of a clinical team to work in the designated Area-19 space as well as maintenance of staffing levels and services throughout the facility. The staffing challenge will be significant; please be assured that if required, we will call on essential caregiver support.
Virtual and phone visits remain available and can be scheduled by calling our recreation staff or social workers.
Effective December 1st, 2020, our visitation program will include the external shelters for essential visitors as well as other visits so not to interrupt face to face visits. We are currently recruiting staff to support these visits and provide the opportunity to extend the visitation schedule to include weekends.
At this time, our outbreaks statuses are as follows:
St. Boniface located at 185 Despins: Pending approval from the Medical Office of Health and no new cases, the outbreak on 2ABC will be over on November 30th, 2020 and the outbreak on 3DE will end on December 3rd, 2020.
St. Vital located at 450 River Road: Pending approval from the Medical Office of Health and no new cases, the outbreak on the 3rd floor will be over on November 26th, 2020.
St. Joseph located at 1149 Leila has no outbreaks at this time.
Windsor Park Place located on the 3rd floor of 875 Elizabeth Road has successfully managed the case of 1 tenant with COVID-19 and kept all other tenants and staff safe. Some of the residents are no longer required to isolate in their rooms. The outbreak will be declared over by the Medical Office of Health.
Chez-Nous, located on the 2nd and 3rd floors at 187 de la Cathédrale has no outbreaks at this time.
I invite you also to stay informed of the current situation. You can access the Government of Manitoba COVID-19 web site for status of active cases: http://www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/index.html
As well, the WRHA has provided some support to personal care homes experiencing resident COVID-19 outbreaks. They also provide updates on its web site: https://wrha.mb.ca/pch-update/.
Please do not hesitate to provide feedback by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Charles Gagné, CEO