June 16, 2021
As always the easing of restrictions is exciting and while the highlights are announced, often the details are not. New easing of restrictions means increased access to visitors and the community, but the Public Health measures have not eased. Wash your hands, wear a mask, physically distance, and don’t visit if you’re sick. Getting asymptomatic testing done, getting vaccinated, and disinfecting high touch surfaces are also essential components for keeping each other well. The changes in the document are effective tomorrow, Thursday, June 17, 2021.
As we enter these new phases-please be gentle with the staff, particularly the screening staff. Rules for the broader community are not the same for Long Term Care. The rules we follow and have to enforce are mandated by the “COVID-19 Management in LTC Facilities Directive under the Authority of the Chief Medical Officer of Health –June 7,2021” which are posted on our website.
Here are the document highlights related to visits and outings:
When visitation occurs (as permitted within the Health Protection Act Order) in long term care facilities the following measures must be in place:
- Visitor information must be logged, including name, contact information, date and time of attendance at the facility.
- Visitors must be screened upon arrival and be asymptomatic
- Environmental cleaning of surfaces in the designated visiting areas occurs before and after each visit.
- Visitors, DCP’s and volunteers are not permitted to enter the facility or grounds if they are under a requirement to self-isolate (due to travel, awaiting for results of COVID-19 testing , due to contact with a COVID-19 case, are currently ill with COVID-19 or for other reasons).
- In addition to the requirements listed above, for outdoor social visits, visitors must wear a medical or non –medical mask during the visit.
- In addition to the requirements listed above, for indoor social visits, visitors must wear a medical mask during the visit.
- Outdoor visits are permitted for all residents. Outdoor visits without physical distancing is permitted for fully immunized residents only, and all visitors must be masked.
- 2 DCP’s can visit a resident at the same time
NOTE: Volunteers and DCP’s are not required to maintain a physical distance of 2 meters /6 feet while performing care related tasks.
Residents can go offsite with the DCPs or facility support person and access local parks, trails etc as able. They should not have contact with community members without wearing a mask.
Residents who are able, are permitted to go offsite to access trails, parks etc. alone if it is mutually agreeable between resident and the facility.
As residents are not able to leave the vehicle while on an outing, we suggest a 60-90 minute maximum time frame. Those requesting longer outings will be redirected to a senior leader to discuss. Residents are still not able to have access to community members or loved ones while out- we expect more freedoms in phase three and four.
The following measures are required for care outings:
- The vehicle is cleaned and disinfected prior to and after each trip/outing.
- The driver (DCP) is screened as per facility protocols and must be asymptomatic.
- Residents are not permitted to get out of the vehicle during the trip/outing.
- Hand hygiene must occur prior to and after the trip/outing.
- Trip/outing information must be logged, including the DCP information, date and time of trip/outing.
- Overnight visits are not permitted at this time
PACKAGE and MEAL DROP OFFS
In order to manage screening, supervising outdoor visits and daily deliveries we are also making the following changes:
- Non-perishable items will be delivered once daily (around 2pm).
- DCPs are welcome to drop off items in the care areas during visiting hours.
- Meal drop off– We are finding that there are times meal drop offs come after mealtime has started in the care areas. In order to get meals to the residents before the scheduled meal times, we suggest the following drop off times:
- Breakfast: Between 8:00am and 8:15 am
- Lunch between: Between 11:30am-11:45am
- Supper/Dinner: Between 4:00pm-4:15pm
We have streamlined the DCP and outdoor visits screening, but we must still collect the necessary information.
Here is a list of expected phases and the associated loosening of restrictions. Please remember, lifting and loosening restrictions does not mean Public Health measures are changing. Subject to change*****
I know it’s a lot of information to absorb. As you can see, there are many details we are required to follow as we move through the new phases.
We are almost there! We have accomplished and endured a lot over the past 15 months. We can finish strong!! Vaccinations have been key to our growing freedoms, and Public Health measures continue to keep us open and safe.