Status of COVID-19 in our Homes
Through a range of measures, peopleCare continues to follow all health directives and to do our part to keep our residents, staff and communities safe and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
TESTING AND OUTBREAKS
The criteria for COVID-19 testing is determined by Public Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health directives. Public Health may declare an entire home (or one or more home areas) in outbreak, and closed to admissions, with two or more lab-confirmed cases of COVID (resident, staff and/or visitor) within a 14-day period. The cases must have an epidemiological link and where at least one person could have reasonably acquired their infection in the Home. Please be reassured:
- We will inform all staff, residents and families of a specific Home, if an outbreak is declared.
- We will keep families informed of COVID-19 testing as per Public Health direction, and will contact you directly if your loved one tests positive or becomes ill.
- We are committed to keeping you updated and also welcome you to call the Home at anytime if you have questions or concerns.
In the event of an outbreak, our teams are prepared to meet the challenge head-on. We have experience managing infectious illnesses, the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff, and updated checklists and protocols for managing COVID-19 outbreaks. We also continue to rely on the guidance of Public Health and adhere to all Ministry directives.
ENHANCED PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE
peopleCare has rigorous infection control and surveillance practices in place year-round, based on Public Health guidelines. Since the emergence of COVID-19, we’ve also taken a number of additional steps to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus and ensure we are as prepared as possible, such as:
- Putting enhanced infection control measures in place and following all Public Health directives.
- Limiting who can come into Homes and actively screening everyone before they enter, including checking for symptoms and asking about travel history.
- Through our Family Caregiver Programs we support designated essential caregivers in the Home through precautions, education and other resources that support safe social and care visits. Homes also always support essential visitors — which includes anyone with a loved one in the Home who is very ill or dying.
- Homes are able to welcome indoor and outdoor social visitors, as long as the resident’s Home area is not in outbreak, following all guidelines and directives of the Ministry. Visit our Family Caregivers Program page for more info.
- Reviewing our pandemic and staffing contingency plans, infection prevention and control plans, and ensuring we have the necessary supplies and personal protective equipment to keep residents and staff safe.
- Working closely with Ontario Public Health, the Government and the Ontario Long-Term Care Association to stay updated on the latest developments and directives.
- Communicating frequently with residents, families, staff and our communities to ensure everyone is well-informed and prepared to collaboratively respond to the evolving situation.
Early on, peopleCare developed a framework from which to make proactive, evidence-based decisions that would protect residents and staff, based on the best and most updated information available. Our approach to enhancing measures supplements Public Health and Ministry directives – and supports our shared goal to create an iron ring of protection around our Homes.
In addition to the above, all peopleCare Homes have put the following additional precautions in place to further reduce the risk of exposing residents and staff to COVID:
- Providing surgical masks for anyone entering the Home, to wear for the duration of their shift/visit.
- Physical distancing, where possible, for residents and staff activities including dining, programs, lounges, staff room etc.
At this time, anyone who has travelled outside of Canada (or lives with someone who has) in the past 14 days is unable to enter our Homes until they have completed the federal government’s quarantine measures. This applies to anyone who is subject to active screening requirements, including staff, students, volunteers and visitors.
These are necessary precautions to help keep everyone safe and we appreciate everyone’s support. As a reminder, washing our hands and avoiding touching our face are simple steps we can all take to reduce risk of transmission and infection.