COVID-19 – 2nd WAVE Communication #10
Updated: Feb 5
Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:
As you are aware, the government declared a second provincial emergency, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. The stay-at-home order and the enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are in effect for all of Ontario and are anticipated to be in place until at least Thursday, February 11, 2021. Continued compliance with Directives #3 and #5 will be adhered to at Heritage Place.
Rules on masking have not changed.
· Universal masking requires all staff and visitors to wear a surgical or procedure mask for the entire duration of their shift or visit.
· Residents must wear a face covering both inside and outside of the home. Surgical masks must be worn for all medical and shopping outings.
· Residents must wear their mask when Caregivers or Staff members enter your suite.
Essential Visitors As per the Retirement Homes’ COVID-19 Visiting Policy, requests for designation of essential caregiver status must be received in writing from a resident’s doctor, along with a signed consent form submitted by the requesting resident. Heritage Place has a procedure in place for approving and documenting Caregiver designations. These public health restrictions are aimed at reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside.
COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout
· Ontario is committed to vaccinating residents in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes as quickly as vaccines are received.
· As of January 25, over 287,000 vaccine doses have been administered across the province, including over 80,000 doses administered to long-term care staff and retirement home staff, over 114,000 doses administered to health care workers and over 68,000 doses administered to long-term care and retirement home residents.
· Ontario remains ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines and expand the number of vaccination sites as soon as doses are received from the federal government.
· 95% of Heritage Place staff have been vaccinated.
· Heritage Place has provided the required information for resident vaccinations and now ‘patiently’ await our turn.
· So, Yes, there is a vaccine. Yes, things will get better. We just don’t know when.
New Variants on the Rise!
On January 29th, 2021 Public Health announced that the UK variant of COVID-19 was found in Haldimand-Norfolk. On January 31st, 2021 Health officials announced that Halton has one UK variant case. Health officials say the UK variant appears to be more highly contagious but have not confirmed the number of cases.
The Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants throughout the province. Further to travel restrictions, it is implementing a six-point plan which includes:
· Mandatory Testing of Travelers: (mandating on-arrival testing for international travelers)
· Enhanced Screening and Sequencing: (additional screening measures for known variants)
· Maintain Public Health Measures: (enhanced health and workplace safety measures remain the same)
· Strengthen Case and Contact Management: (ensure cases and contacts are reached as soon as possible and monitored through quarantine periods)
· Enhancing Protections for Vulnerable Populations: (accelerated vaccination and expansion of rapid testing in high-risk settings underway)
· Leveraging Data: (new data enhancement system to identify known and emerging variants of COVID-19 to be implemented)
On a separate note… Information on Residents’ Council
Please refer to your Resident Handbook where you will find an information package on the Retirement Home Act (RHA) 2010. The Act states that retirement homes must allow its residents to establish a residents’ council and that it is the responsibility of the home to keep you informed, annually, of your rights to do so.
Heritage Place does not currently have a Residents’ Council or a Tenant Association but certainly recognizes and supports the right and option of its’ residents to choose to formalize and establish a Resident’s Council at any time without interference from the Home.
Reference: sections 56–59 of the Act & section 12 of the Retirement Home Regulations.
Thank you everyone for your utmost co-operation. Be determined. We will get through this together…no matter how hard it is!