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


Closed to ALL Visitors

HEALTH/WELLNESS–First Presumptive Cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia; New Prevention Measures


Nova Scotia announced the province’s first three presumptive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), today, March 15. The province is also taking further measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The cases are not connected and are travel related. The individuals followed all the proper procedures when they started to feel unwell.

“My thoughts are with the individuals affected and I wish them a speedy and thorough recovery. Now, more than ever, all Nova Scotians must follow public health direction – that’s how we will reduce the spread of this virus in our province,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We need to work together to protect our most vulnerable.”

Two individuals are in the Halifax Regional Municipality and one is in Kings County. All three are managing their symptoms at home in self-isolation. Details include:

  1. a female in her 60’s, who returned to Halifax from Australia on March 8.
  2. a male in his late 50’s, who recently attended a conference in California and returned to Halifax on March 13.
  3. a male in his 30’s, who returned to Halifax on March 10 following travel throughout Europe.

Public health has been in contact with these individuals and those who have come in close contact with them are also being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Additional prevention measures for Nova Scotians are in effect immediately under the authority of the Health Protection Act and include:

  • long-term care facilities closed to visitors effectively immediately
  • public schools closed for two weeks following March Break (weeks of March 23 and March 30) and then will be reassessed
  • regulated child care centres closed March 17 to April 3 and then will be reassessed
  • March break camps cancelled
  • casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closed as of 12 am March 16 and bar owners can no longer operating VLT
  • anyone who travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate even if symptom-free
  • organizations and businesses must practise social distancing of two metres or six feet and keep gatherings below 150 or much smaller if possible. This applies to restaurants, bars, movie theatres and other gathering spots

Starting Monday, March 16, public health inspectors will be onsite at the Halifax International Airport and the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. Work is ongoing with federal partners responsible for border security to strengthen the screening process. As well, both airports now have information on digital screens in all areas frequented by travellers.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at .

Quick Facts:

  • as of March 15, Nova Scotia has completed 418 tests for COVID-19, with 415 negative results and 3 presumptive positive cases. Testing numbers are updated daily at
  • the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
  • anyone who has travelled outside of Canada or has been in close contact with someone who has and are experiencing fever (above 38C) or cough should complete the online questionnaire to see whether you need to call 811. The online questionnaire can be found at:
  • Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act gives the chief medical officer of health the authority to give advice to protect public health and decrease risk to public health presented by communicable diseases such as COVID-19 –the public school system will be investigating virtual schools focused on essential curriculum to ensure Grade 12 students can graduate

Additional Resources:

The Public Health Agency of Canada maintains a list of affected areas:

Government of Canada:

Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397 Nova Scotia Public Health offices:

Stomach Flu Outbreak

Posted on in Notices.
  • We are closed due to a stomach flu out break Visitation is restricted to Immediate Family only.
  • No children under 12 should enter the facility as per Public Health instruction.
  • Please reschedule non essential visits.

Phone Outage

Posted on in Notices.

The facility is experiencing difficulties with a portion of both the resident and business phones and faxes. This is related to equipment issues and we have been working towards a solution for a couple of days. Replacement equipment has been ordered.

All staff currently have to access their email accounts and can be reached through out Staff Directory.

All faxes should be faxed to 902-863-4437 until the situation is corrected

Week Days

From Monday to Friday, between 8AM and 4PM, please call 902-863-2578 ext 233 if you are having any difficulty reaching a care area or your loved one.

Weekend Days

From Saturday to  Sunday, between 6AM until 4PM, if you are unable to reach your family member, please call 902-863-2578 ext 233 and someone will be able to take your message and ensure either your family member or staff member gets in touch with you.

After Hours (All Week)

Between 4PM until 6AM, every day of the week please call:

  • Martha’s Inn at 902-870-4019
  • Thistledown/Cobblestone at 902-338-0010
  • MapleRidge/Brambleberry at 902-870-1238
  • Tanglewood at 902-870-5024

Thank you for your patience with this ongoing issue.

Phone Issues

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our external phone lines. Thank you for your patience while we have this issue resolved.

Generator Transfer Switch replacement completed

February 6, 2020

Effective today, the replacement  of the generator transfer switch is completed.

This means that in the event of a power outage, the generator will engage automatically, as it did in the past, and there will be no significant period without power or any need for a manual generator start up.

Thanks to the Maintenance Department for managing this project so efficiently,  to the staff working through the planned power outages and to residents and visitors for their patience as we addressed the issue.

It should be “business as usual” moving forward!

Thanks again Everyone

Water main break

Posted on in Notices.

Water main break has been fixed and water has been restored to the building.

Water Main Break

Posted on in Notices.

The Town of Antigonish has experienced a water main break today that has significantly impacted the water supply at RK. They are hopeful the water will be restored this evening. We are prepared to manage overnight if it is necessary.

We have implemented the following:

  • Drinking water is available in each of the care areas for staff, visitors and residents.
  • Non-potable water is available on each care area to flush toilets.
  • Potable water for handwashing and resident care has been made available to the care areas.
  • We have converted to disposable plates and cutlery for the evening meals.
  • We have reached out to St. Martha’s to assist us with linen.
  • Additional staff will be brought in as required to support front line staff with activities such as dishwashing, laundry and to ensure that any missed showers or regular baths are done once the water is restored (or next business day)


We have had several meetings with staff throughout the day to keep them updated and to bring information back to staff and residents in each care area and department.


When water is restored we will post a note on the website.