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Fairhaven Family Communication- January 22, 2021

Peterborough Public Health has declared our outbreak over

Fairhaven Family Communication- January 21, 2021

We have been told that Peterborough Public Health will have proof of the negative result, for our remaining COVID test, tomorrow morning.  To declare an outbreak over, they need to have documented proof that the results are not positive (cannot be a verbal result given from a lab).  As a reminder, there have been no additional staff or Resident COVID-19 cases since the original “index” staff case. 

It is very difficult to predict when we receive test results, and forecasts given to Fairhaven are subject to change at all times.  When Peterborough Public Health gives us official notification of our change in status, we will issue an email immediately; we appreciate peoples’ patience.

If our Home is given the “green light” tomorrow morning, we will be able to accept essential caregivers in the afternoon.  The definition of “essential caregivers” is once again provided below (ie. not a form of visitors).  Anyone attending our Home will need to wear faceshields if they are within 6 feet of Residents.

Resident Leaves – Resident Leaves have been put on hold by the province during the lockdown period.  There is an acknowledged need to find a balance between allowing Residents to have in person contact with loved ones and keeping long term care homes free of the coronavirus.

Essential Caregivers – It is very  important that everyone is informed regarding the definition of an “Essential Caregiver” according to the Provincial Government:  “A caregiver is a type of essential visitor who is designated by the resident and/or their substitute decision-maker and is visiting to provide direct care to the resident ( e.g. supporting feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connection, relational continuity and assistance in decision-making).”  Essential caregivers are not general visitors:  they provide specific care for the Resident.  Starting December 29th, essential caregivers will be asked to provide a description of the care that they are providing for the Home’s records. 

To help ensure that Residents receive the essential care that they need, from the people who are best equipped to provide that care, we will not be able to change the designation of essential caregivers until the end of the provincial lockdown, (at the earliest, the end of January 2021).

Vaccines for Essential Caregivers –  While there have been a number of news stories about vaccinations in long term care, and that essential caregivers would be included, we were informed yesterday that it is possible that the vaccination teams that come to Fairhaven will focus only on Residents.  According to the Peterborough Public Health, it is a rapidly evolving situation and it is still possible that vaccinations for Residents, staff and essential caregivers will occur on site at Fairhaven.  As soon as we have the confirmed dates and details for vaccine distribution, we will share that information to all of you immediately.

Capacity to Receive Essential Caregivers – Provincial Lockdown regulations allow only one Essential Caregiver, per Resident, at a time.   Besides the introduction of the province wide lockdown, there are a number of other reasons for this measure has been put in place:

  • To maintain an empty isolation area, to be prepared for another outbreak, all Residents have been shifts into seven home areas instead of being spread out into the normal eight.  This was made possible by the lower number of beds that are currently occupied.
  • The expected number of visitors will be higher over the holidays and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to received visitors without losing the ability to maintain social distancing.

It will be up to the discretion of RNs if essential caregivers will be able to leave Fairhaven and come back later in the day.  Again the rationale being that the virus only spreads through movement and the more we lessen that variable, the better.  If visitors are not adhering to PPE requirements, they will be asked to leave.

Faceshields – If the care being provided to your loved one (ie. feeding, personal care, etc.) will bring you to within six feet of each other, caregivers will also need to wear a faceshield in addition to a surgical mask.  If you do not have a faceshield, we can provide one that you can sanitize in between visits.

Travel to Restrict (Orange), Control (Red) and Lockdown (Grey) Zones – When visitors arrive at Fairhaven, they will be asked if they have travelled to or from Orange, Red or Grey “zones” in the past fourteen days (this being the zone that a public health region would be in if the lockdown was not in effect).  The basic rationale for this step is the fact that, if residents of these communities cannot visit long term care homes in their own areas, it would logically follow that they should not be visiting long term care homes in green or yellow zones either.  A resident of these geographic zones could be perfectly careful in their everyday life and still be an asymptomatic carrier.  Our overarching responsibility and goal is to keep our Residents safe and the Home free from COVID-19.  We will be asking those entering Fairhaven if they either live in, or have travelled to (or from) the hotzones.  Visitors from this area, or those that they spent time in these areas during he past 14 days, will not be permitted to enter Fairhaven for the duration of the provincial lockdown.  The risk of unwittingly exposing others to a virus that someone does not even know they have, is simply too high.  Please help us keep our Home COVID free for the remainder of the pandemic.