Precautionary Measures in Response to COVID-19

At Schlegel Villages, we have the honour of caring for and supporting more than 4,000 residents in 19 long-term care and retirement Villages across Ontario. Their safety – along with that of their loved ones and the team members who work in our neighbourhoods – is our top priority.  

Tuesday, March 31 - 3:30pm

Organizational Update

First, we’ll note that at this time, there are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our Villages and we have had several negative tests returned from Public Health Units in several locations. Let’s continue to work hard to keep it that way, but also prepare to a positive case. 

In relation to the single resident in the Village of Humber Heights who has tested positive for COVID-19, please see open letter general manager has shared with the her Village and the wider Schlegel Villages family. At this time, there are no other positive cases in any of our Villages.

A resident in Emma’s neighbourhood in The Village of Humber Heights has tested positive, and all infection control protocols are in place. This resident has only shown the mildest of symptoms and has been in isolation since the first sign of symptoms on March 23. She is happy in her suite and is currently supported by one care partner per shift, who is meeting all of her physical and emotional needs while adhering to all infection control protocols. The Village and our infection control specialists are working closely with Public Health Officials to contain any potential spread and track all potential contacts, which we are confident have been minimal.

No changes to our Essential Visitors/Return-to-Work policies or Active Screening Protocols – Temperature Checks will remain in place at all screening for the duration of the pandemic.

Anyone Who Fails Screening is Not Permitted to Enter and We Strongly Recommend Residents in both LTC and our Retirement Homes only leave if it is absolutely necessary.

 

 
Screening 

While it is not yet mandated by the Chief Medical Officer of Health to include temperature readings as part of our screening protocols, we have chosen to add Temperature Screening with a no-touch thermometer as part of all Active Screening.

Remember, for the purposes of COVID-19 screening, a temperature of 38 degrees or higher would fail the screening.

Anyone Who Fails Screening is Not Permitted to Enter and We Strongly Recommend Residents in both LTC and our Retirement Homes only leave if it is absolutely necessary.

PPE Use and Inventory

We want to assure our teams that we remain confident in our reserve supply of all Personal Protective Equipment. However, we must only use this important equipment when warranted under Infection Control protocols to ensure we aren’t needlessly wasting supplies.

There is no mandate at this time to require any additional measures with PPE – the use of any PPE outside of an outbreak situation is not advised by any official health or governing body.

Dining Recommendations and Cleaning Protocols

Many Public Health Units have issued directives related to dining and physical distancing. To be clear, at this time there is no firm directive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. The Support Office hospitality team has been working hard to manage precautionary measures around dining.

All villages have received recommendations and suggested dining room layouts. We know each Village is different in terms of spacing, so please see your GM or AGM with specific questions.

Admissions and Discharge

MOHLTC has made amendments to the admissions and discharge processes to support us as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have been told that, province-wide, we should be prepared for a surge of as many as 20,000 people needing space in Long-term Care homes, and these amendments offer flexibility to meet this demand while also ensuring people who choose to leave our home for the duration of this crisis won’t be penalized or lose their space.

Essential Visitors

 “Only essential visitors should be permitted to enter and must continue to be actively screened into these settings. Those who fail screening should not be permitted to enter. Essential visitors are those who have a resident who is very ill or requiring end-of-life care.”

Residents Leaving the Village

There is currently no law or direction from any government body that prohibits an independent person from leaving their home if they choose to. We are following the latest directive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, however, and we strongly recommend that residents in both LTC and our Retirement Homes only leave if it is absolutely necessary, for the good of all their neighbours.

 “Residents of long-term care homes should not be permitted to leave the home for short stay absences to visit family and friends. Instead, residents who wish to go outside of the home should remain on the home’s property and maintain safe social distancing from any family and friends who visit them.” Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

In addition, he reiterates that: “In accordance with O. Reg 68/20 made under the Retirement Homes Act, retirement homes must take all reasonable steps to follow the required precautions and procedures outlined in this Directive.”

Priority Testing for LTC/Retirement Residents

According to the RHRA, “Public Health Ontario has confirmed that COVID-19 tests for retirement home residents are to be prioritized by laboratories as is the case for long-term care home residents’ tests. Requisition forms must be clearly labelled to indicate that the individual is a resident of a retirement home to ensure priority processing.

Furthermore, it has been reported in the media that Public Health Agencies across Canada – including Ontario – are being directed to prioritize COVID-19 testing for healthcare workers who show respiratory symptoms. We strongly support this directive, but at this time we can’t confirm. We will continue to advocate for this – currently each Local Public Health Unit determines who is tested.

Infection Control Reminders
  • In all outbreak situations, our standard outbreak protocols are in place; Social Distancing and Hand Washing is always a great defense; 
  • The Local Public Health Unit determines who is tested, and results may take up to five days, we are told;
  • We strongly urge our independent residents to avoid leaving their Village unless it is essential;
  • If residents must leave, we advise them to limit movements around the Village and self-monitor for symptoms. Every Village has come up with creative solutions to ensure independent RH residents have access to groceries – please share your Village’s information with them;
  • We remind everyone that that we are cooperating with hospital and Public Health officials to ensure any new admissions from hospital have been thoroughly screened
Return-to-Work Policy
  • Team members who have travelled outside the country must self isolate for 14 days;
  • Team members who have close contact with someone with acute respiratory symptoms who has travelled outside of Canada must self isolate.
  • Team members will not be able to return to work without a negative COVID-19 test or they have completed 14 days of self-isolation and are symptom free.
  • A doctor’s note is not enough. If they do receive a negative test, they would still be away from the Village for 5 days as per our standard infection control protocols.
  • Any person who fails screening is not be permitted to enter!

Past Updates (notice that details in these can change daily)

We sincerely appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience. We will continue to offer regular communication as any new developments arise, but in the meantime, we hope that beyond these additional precautionary measures, our residents and team members will continue to bring life to their neighbourhoods and Villages.

Please contact our communications team if you have any questions or concerns. We can be reached at Covid.Communication@Schlegelvillages.com 

 

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