New Visiting Rules – Sept. 17th, 2020

Please see the following information about the visitation that begins next week.

Prior to all visits, visitors must be screened using the provincial screening tool. This screening is a mandatory requirement from the Department of Health and Wellness & Public Health.

It is imperative that all visitors stay away from the RK MacDonald with the slightest cold or flu-like symptoms in order to support the safety of all.

Please click here to view the whole document.

Update to Visitation Policy

Family and Friends of The RK

As you are likely aware, the Nova Scotia Government announced on July 17, 2020 that long-term care facilities in the Province will be reopening to visitors. Premier McNeil highlighted that safety remains the priority during this reopening process.

The RK has allowed socially distanced outdoor visits on our grounds for several weeks. For the foreseeable future, we are keeping the outdoor visitation policy in place. As of right now, this visitation format is how we can best protect residents and staff while still allowing you to see and talk to your loved ones.

Effective Monday, July 27th, 2020 the following changes to the outdoor visitation policy will be implemented:

  • Continuation of scheduled outdoor visits that do not include touch.
  • Visitors are required to wear a non-medical mask when on the grounds of the RK. The masks may be removed during your scheduled visit as long as the mandatory 6 feet distance is maintained.
  • The maximum number of visitors per resident at one time is now five people.
  • Visitors must remain six feet from your loved one as well as the staff member supporting the visits- this will be strictly enforced.
  •  Visiting options include outside gazebo visits, fence visits, drive thru visits and virtual visits and all must be scheduled in advance.
  • As per the Public Health guidelines, all visitors must be screened, have their contact information collected, and visits must be supervised by a staff member.

Until we are able to develop further protocols and address additional issues, we are unable to further reduce the restrictions on these visits. We know you miss your family and we thank you for your ongoing support as we all work together to navigate these challenging circumstances. Safety has and will remain our top priority and we need to ensure proper procedures can be confidently put in place before we are able to open our doors to visitors.

We understand this may not be the news you were looking to receive. However, this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved, and we need to take steps to ensure the safety of our residents and the well-being of our staff and the organization.

If you have any questions regarding visits, please contact the Recreation Department at

There is more information posted on our website. We have also posted the guidelines for “Resident Visitation, Hair Salons and Social Activities in LTC” as issued by Public Health and Department of Health and Wellness July 17, 2020. If you have any additional questions on policies and procedures currently in place, please contact: Cathy Brouwer at 902-863-2578 ext 233 and she will redirect your call to the appropriate person.

Yours truly,

Michelle Thompson

Link to original letter.

Visitation to LTC Update July 17,2020

We have been made aware of the announcement today from Premier McNeil regarding some of the restrictions being lifted for visitation at Long Term Care Homes across the province. We know that this is welcome news for many, however, we must stress that there are still several safeguards and procedures that need to be reviewed and implemented before we are able to open our doors to visitors.

Over the coming days, we will be doing our due diligence to review the requirements recently released by Public Health. Our main goal is to review the capacity of our staff to implement these changes that come with the lifting of visitor restrictions. We will have more information to share with families and the community in the coming days.

Our priority remains to keep the safety and protection of our residents, visitors and staff top of mind.

We know that you miss your family members and that they miss you as well. Our outdoor visiting policy remains in place and if you would like to speak with a staff member to set up a visit, please contact: the recreation Department at

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support has we all work together to navigate these challenging times.

Notice Regarding Family Visits

Please note that as of June 15th the new Family Visit Rules are available here.

We are preparing to welcome loved ones for outdoor visits beginning Thursday, June 18, 2020. There will be more information about the visits on the RK website on Monday, June 15, 2020; we anticipate the information will be added to the website between 3 & 4pm.  As the restrictions in NS and in Long Term Care loosen, RK MacDonald will be taking a very cautious approach. I know people are anxious to see one another again, but the reality of the effect of this virus on people in Long Term Care cannot be ignored; 82% of deaths in Canada related to COVID-19 have been linked to LTC facilities across the country. While as individuals we may feel our risk to others is minimal, we will be increasing the number of people on the property by up to 270 people per week if every resident has 2 visitors.

We are asking residents or their Substitute Decision Maker to designate two “in-person” visitors [must the same two people for all visits]  to visit their family member.  Window visits and virtual visits can continue for other families not identified as the “in person” visitors.

The Home will begin to facilitate outdoor visits in a couple of ways. Initially, some visits will be done as drive thru visits.  Residents will be sitting outside under a canopy and family members will enter our front roundabout driveway and remain in their vehicles. They will be 6 feet apart during the visit. Other residents will meet family members through the gates near their care areas. Again, spaces will marked off on either side of the gate to ensure social distancing is maintained. Staff will be available to assist with the outdoor visits. For some residents, it may still be best to continue to communicate with their  loved ones through window and virtual visits. We will decide this with the residents and/or family on a case by case basis. As per the Public Health Long Term Care guidelines, we feel that if physical distancing is strictly maintained, family members will not be required to wear masks (unless they choose to) in order to facilitate communication.

As the province and communities “open up”, we will regularly re-evaluate our processes and procedures and work safely and diligently to continue to connect residents and their loved ones. We are working on our procedures as well as securing human resources to support these visits to ensure they are both enjoyable and safe.

Final details will be released on Monday which will also include contact information to schedule your visit and/or speak to someone in Administration.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through this extra-ordinary time.

Michelle Thompson

Covid 19 April 13, 2020 Update to the Community

Update to the Community April 13, 2020

Greetings Everyone:

I wanted to provide an update on how things are going in the facility.

We began a new masking protocol today. As per the directive from Department of Health and Wellness, staff are wearing a mask in the facility. Whenever staff are providing direct care, in the care areas, or working within 6 feet of one another (out of necessity), masks are donned. This protocol was implemented to protect residents and colleagues from a person who may have COVID-19 but have not developed symptoms yet (asymptomatic) or their symptoms are very mild (pre-symptomatic). Residents are screened twice a day for fever and any other possible signs and symptoms. Staff have their temperatures taken on arrival before their shift and are also screened for symptoms.  We are working diligently to ensure we are implementing new protocols in a timely manner. We continue to take our direction form Public Health and the Department of Health and Wellness, and work closely with the NSHA. We are grateful for their ongoing support.

On Thursday, prior to the new directive, 20 women in our Antigonish Town and County communities were recruited to make homemade masks. Over the weekend these masks were beautifully sewn and prepared for the staff to use. As a result of this new directive received yesterday, we will now offer each staff member a mask for his/her/their own use while not at work and we will keep the remaining masks in case they can be used at a later date. We are incredibly grateful for the time and effort and care that went into this project. We purchased material on Thursday afternoon and many of the masks have been delivered already. We will be posting pictures of these beautiful masks in the coming days. While these masks cannot be implemented  in the way we had planned originally, they will still be used by staff. Thank you, sincerely, for your support.

Thank you also to Kenny’s Pizza, Tim Hortons, Tareq Hadhad and Diane Roberts for the generosity and kindness offered through treats for the staff. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and very much enjoyed.

We hope you are all well. This was certainly a different Easter holiday than many of us are accustomed to. Please continue to reach out through cards, letters and the beautiful artwork! Staff encouragement is hung in the hallways for and can be  read as they enter and leave the building. Residents are receiving their well wishes also. We do keep all items in the office for 48 hours before sharing them throughout the building.

Take care everyone. Easter signifies hope and we certainly carry hope with us as we manage these uncertain times. We are very hopeful that we can soon visit safely again soon.

All the best,

Michelle Thompson

CEO R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home

64 Pleasant St, Antigonish, NS

B2G 2K9

Phone: 902-863-2578 ext 232


Fax: 902-863-4437