Update on Outbreak Response – September 17, 2020
While we await testing results from Public Health Ontario, the following actions have been taken to limit the extent of the outbreak at Fairhaven:
- Anyone who is a high risk contact of the infected individual (Index Case), has been contacted by Public Health as it is their responsibility to perform contact tracing
- There is no evidence of transmission in the home. We continue to closely monitor resident health and there is a process in place to monitor staff call ins and symptoms as well.
- We have swabbed all Residents, and will have staff testing done by the end of this week
- Staff have been reminded to self-screen prior to coming in for their shift and to report any symptoms to scheduling and infection control.
- There have been no new COVID cases reported, in either the resident or the staff populations, since the Index Case was identified
If you are an approved Resident Contact and you would like to receive email updates, please phone Reception at 743-0881 and provide your address information.
Media Release – September 15, 2020
From: Lionel Towns, Executive Director – Fairhaven
Re: Positive COVID-19 Test for Employee at Fairhaven
September 15, 2020 – COVID-19 has been detected in an employee of Fairhaven. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) confirmed the test result and has declared an outbreak. We continue to work closely with Peterborough Public Health (PPH) to monitor the situation.
The safety of our Resident, their families, and our staff is our top priority. Effective immediately, the following measures will be implemented:
- All Residents and all staff members will be tested, starting today.
- All Residents in the Home Areas in which the individual worked will also be tested.
- Contact tracing, by PPH, will occur for the staff member who tested positive.
- The staff member who tested positive will not return to work at Fairhaven until 48 hours after they have had a negative test result.
- Ceasing of all general and caregiver visits until the positive case is resolved
- Ceasing of all leaves of absences until the positive case is resolved
These steps are in line with our most pressing need: to keep Residents and Staff healthy and free of COVID-19. Enhanced house cleaning, and extra disinfection for high touch surfaces, continues. Hand hygiene and social distancing remain the best way to stop the spread of infection. The co-operation of family members and others is critical for keeping Fairhaven Residents safe.
For current outbreak information, please call 705-743-0881 ext. 200.
September 9, 2020 – Updated COVID-19 Verbal Abuse
As a result of the new guidelines released by the Ministry of Long Term Care last week, regarding visiting and Resident Leave policies, our employees have already been subject to verbal abuse by people calling in to Fairhaven. Some have had issues with wearing PPE, some have commented on the fact that we are still in the midst of organizing procedures for something we were just informed about days ago. Some are simply expressing anger about something they misunderstood about recent communications from Fairhaven.
I want to make it exceedingly clear that any type of verbal abuse, towards any of our coworkers will not be tolerated and will result in, at the very least, a temporary ban on visiting privileges (at our discretion) or the ability to take Residents on leave. Our staff have been an absolute model of dedication and hard work since the pandemic began and they do not deserve any mistreatment as a result of people’s frustration with a situation that they are, unfortunately, immersed in.
Whatever our personal feelings are regarding masks and government policies, we are all bound by legislation and Ministry rules. Directions are in place to not only protect your loved one but also to protect everyone who enters Fairhaven. We have a collective responsibility to do what we can to keep everyone in the home free from COVID. If someone feels differently, attending our Home is certainly not mandatory.
People have, with dismissive tones, questioned how we will know if they lie about having a negative COVID test or about keeping masks on, at all times, during Resident leaves. They are right; we won’t know if they are telling us the truth or not. However, we will know when they, or their Resident, brings COVID into the Home. It will be reasonably easy to trace how the virus entered the Home, and the people who willfully and falsely attest will be responsible for an institutional outbreak.
With so many changes to Resident and Visitor movement coming in such a short time, immediately before the public enters a new phase of the pandemic, long term care Homes need to cooperation of everyone to ensure staff and Resident safety. Everyone is entitled to their personal opinions but they are not entitled to knowingly fail to follow Ministry and Fairhaven safety guidelines.
Given the fact that this is a constantly evolving situation, more changes/alterations to visiting and leave policies could be released at any time.
September 3, 2020 – Updated COVID-19 Visiting Policy for Long Term Care Homes
As you can imagine, implementing these changes to visiting policies will take some time to organize and ensure that they are safely executed. We will not be recording the names of Designated Caregivers, as decided by Residents or their Substitute Decision Makers (SDMs), until the effective date of Wednesday September 9th, 2020.
As of Wednesday, September 9, 2020, the following are key areas of importance regarding changes to visitor guidelines:
Clarification on Visitors
The document provides clarification on the various types of visitors as follows:
- Designated Caregivers – Caregivers are defined as 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. A maximum of two caregivers may be designated per resident at a time. The decision to designate an individual as a caregiver is entirely the responsibility of the resident and/or their substitute decision-makers. Designated Caregivers do not need to make appointments to visit and can travel to a Resident’s room. No visitors are allowed to visit other Residents while they are here and are not allowed to attend any other areas of Fairhaven. At no point is a “Designated Caregiver” allowed to take off any required PPE.
- Volunteers and Placement Students – These individuals are not considered visitors and are not subject to the COVID-19 Visiting Policy. The licensee determines volunteer and student access to LTC homes, and screening and PPE requirements should align with those for staff.
- General visitors younger than 14 should be accompanied by an adult and must follow all IPAC precautions that are in place at the home.
The updated policy still requires any visitor (including essential visitors, support workers and caregivers) visiting indoors to verbally attest to home staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks and subsequently not tested positive. However, the following are the changes introduced with respect to screening:
- Caregivers and general visitors must verbally attest to the home that in the last 14 days they have not visited a resident who is self-isolating or symptomatic and/or a home in an outbreak.
- Homes are advised to ask caregivers and general visitors to verbally attest to the home that they have read the home’s new visitor policy and should be asked this at least once every month thereafter.
- Prior to visiting any resident for the first time after this policy is released, the home should provide training to caregivers that addresses how to safely provide direct care, including putting on and taking off PPE as well as hand hygiene. The home should also provide retraining to caregivers with the frequency of retraining indicated in the home’s visitor policy.
- Homes may not require the following visitors to verbally attest to a negative COVID-19 result:
- Government inspectors
- A person who is visiting a very ill or palliative resident
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Homes are responsible for providing surgical/procedure masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection (i.e., face shield or goggles) for essential visitors
- If a visitor is unable to wear the required PPE, the visitor should not be permitted to have close physical contact (i.e., less than two metres) with a resident.
The updated policy continues to encourage general visitors and residents to practice physical distancing for the duration of their visit. However, visitors who have passed all screening requirements, including having verbally attested to not testing positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, could engage in close physical contact (i.e., less than two metres) with a resident to support their emotional well-being and/or communication provided the visitor wears a surgical/procedure mask (regardless if the visit is indoor or outdoor) as source control.
Messages to Friends & Family From Some of Our Residents …