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COVID-19 – 2nd WAVE Communication 7

December 13, 2020




Dear Residents, Families, Friends, Staff:


The following information is taken from an RHRA bulletin:

The Ministry of Seniors And Accessibility released a revised Retirement Home COVID-19 Visiting Policy. The revised policy took effect Friday, December 11 along with changes to Directive #3.

Changes to the Visiting Policy are as follows: Alignment with the Provincial COVID-19 Framework

High Alert and Alert areas have been eliminated, and homes will now be subject to Provincial protocols under Green (Prevent), Yellow (Protect), Orange (Restrict), Red (Control), and Grey (Lockdown) COVID-19 zones that are based on the boundaries of their local public health unit. RHRA will no longer send out Alert levels each week. Every Friday, RHRA will send out a reminder to homes that they are responsible for identifying the level of their local COVID-19 zone and implementing the protocols for that zone.


Heritage Place is in the RED (Control) Zone. General Visitors

General Visitors are not permitted to visit homes in Outbreak, Orange (Restrict), Red(Control), Grey (Lockdown) levels. Support Workers For homes in Green and Yellow levels:

  • Any number of support workers may visit a resident in a home.

For homes in Outbreak, Orange, Red, and Grey levels:

  • Any number of support workers who are care providers (regulated health professionals or unregulated care providers) may visit a resident in a home at a time. A maximum of one (1) support worker who is NOT a care provider per resident may visit at a time (e.g., maintenance worker).


Caregivers

The restrictions on numbers of caregiver visitors remain the same from the previous Visiting Policy.


Please note:

For homes in Green and Yellow levels:

  • A maximum of two (2) caregivers per resident may visit at a time.


For homes in Outbreak, Orange, Red and Grey levels:

  • A maximum of one (1) caregiver per resident may visit at a time

Personal Care Service Providers For homes in Green, Yellow and Orange levels:

  • A maximum of one (1) personal care service provider per resident at a time. Personal care service providers that support only the retirement home (e.g., provide services on-site at one location) may continue to visit homes.


For homes in Outbreak, Red and Grey levels:

  • Personal care service providers are not permitted.


Absence that does not include an overnight stay

For homes in Green and Yellow levels:

  • Residents are permitted to leave the home for an absence that does not include an overnight stay (e.g., absences with friends or family, shopping, medical appointments, filling prescriptions, taking walks, etc.), provided a list of protocols outlined in the visiting policy is followed.


For homes in Outbreak, Orange, Red and Grey Levels:

  • Residents may be permitted to leave the home for walks or essentials (e.g., groceries, medical appointments, filling prescriptions), with the exception of also being permitted to leave for single-night emergency room visits. They must also meet the screening, face covering/masking, physical distancing and education requirements outlined in the visiting policy.

Absence that includes an overnight stay For homes in Green and Yellow levels:

  • An absence that includes an overnight stay is permitted. Upon return to the home, residents must self-isolate for 14 days under Droplet and Contact Precautions, but do not require testing. Residents who are self-isolating for 14 days following an overnight stay may not receive general visitors, leave the home for short absences or for overnight stays.


For homes in Outbreak, Orange, Red and Grey Levels:

  • An absence that includes an overnight stay is not permitted.


Admissions from the community/hospital


  • Are allowed in all levels, but must follow the protocols in the revised Directive #3. Admissions from the community/hospital are not allowed if the home is in outbreak.


Social Activities Social activities which adhere to public health measures are permitted in all levels if they are:

  • Consistent with CMOH Directives, provincial orders, including group size, and any additional advice from the local PHU.

  • Organized in such a way to maximize resident and staff safety.

Homes must ensure participants and activity facilitators:

  • Wear face coverings/masks.

  • Maintain physical distancing of at least two metres at all times.

  • Adhere to IPAC measures.

  • Conduct activities in designated areas; and

  • Ensure enhanced environmental cleaning of designated areas prior to and following activities.


Retirement Homes are subject to the Ontario government’s restrictions on social gatherings per the Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Grey level group size limits.


At this time, Heritage Place will continue to implement virtual programming (exercise, concerts, hallway fun and one-on-one iPad programs). Group activities will not be offered until further notice. Tours For homes in Green and Yellow levels:

  • Tour group should be limited to the prospective resident or couple plus one other individual.

  • All tour participants are subject to the general visitor requirements.

  • The tour route must be restricted in a manner that avoids contact with residents.

  • Homes should keep the number of tours and duration in the home to a minimum.


For homes in Orange and Red levels:


  • May offer targeted tours of empty suites at the final stage of home selection process. General tours should be virtual.

For homes in Outbreak and Lockdown:

  • In-person tours should be paused.



Notable changes to Directive #3: Visitors

General Visitors are not allowed if the home is located in a public health unit region in an Orange, Red or Grey level. Admissions from the community/hospital

  • All admissions and transfers need to be tested for COVID-19 in accordance with the COVID-19 Provincial Testing Requirements Update.

  • The receiving home must have a plan to ensure the resident being admitted (except for those who have cleared COVID-19) can complete 14 days of self-isolation, under Droplet and Contact Precautions

  • Individuals must be placed in a single room on admission to complete their 14-day self-isolation. Where this is not possible, individuals may be placed in a room with no more than one (1) other resident who should also be placed in isolation under Droplet and Contact Precautions.

  • Other COVID-19 preparedness measures.


If the home is in a Green Zone, an admission from a hospital may occur without the required 14-day self-isolation period provided that neither the hospital and the home are experiencing an outbreak and both the hospital and the home are located in Green (Prevent) areas. This transfer may occur if the individual has had a negative COVID- 19 test within 24 hours of transfer. In the event that the test result is not available within the 24-hour period, the transfer can occur, but the individual must remain in isolation in the home until a negative test result is received. If this test result is positive, the individual must continue their self-isolation and the home must contact their local public health unit.


Universal Masking The updated Directive requires all staff and essential visitors to wear a surgical/procedure mask during the entire duration of their shift/visit, regardless of whether the home is in outbreak or not. Outdoor visits should remain 2 meters apart from the individual they are visiting and from the home’s staff and are required to wear face masks at all times. Retirement Homes are required to have policies for masking regarding residents. Residents must wear masks in common indoor areas in the Retirement Home.


The updated Directive requires that homes, in consultation with their Joint Health and Safety Committees or Health and Safety Representatives, if any, must ensure measures are taken to prepare the home for a COVID-19 outbreak including, determining who from the home should be part of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). Outbreak Management Team When local public health declares an outbreak in a home, it will activate and chair the OMT with the Heritage Place Management Team.



Working together to keep you safe!

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