Fairhaven Family COVID-19 Communication – February 12, 2021
The Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) has informed all long-term care homes that they are mandated to transition to rapid antigen tests for staff, student placements and volunteers, as well as caregivers, support workers and general visitors, before they are permitted entry into our facility. The MLTC is moving forward with this requirement in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health.
These Abbott Panbio™ test kits are, the words of the MLTC, being made available to support the use of an additional tool to enhance protection for Residents against the coronavirus. These “quick tests” will be used, exclusively, to screen asymptomatic individuals; once this program is implemented in early March, all visitors will need to tested at Fairhaven; there will no longer be an option to be tested off-site at community testing centres. All positive quick test results will need to be confirmed via a PCR test that would be sent to provincial labs. While the use of antigen testing, in non-outbreak LTC homes, provides an opportunity for earlier identification of positive COVID-19 cases, we are also aware that some will find daily swabbing to be uncomfortable. Please note that this is not an option; all long term care homes must have these processes in place by mid-March.
The MLTC has indicated that their evidence suggests that frequent screening with rapid antigen tests increases the chances of early identification of cases and mitigates the lower sensitivity of a single antigen test. The recent antigen testing pilot, in a select group of LTC homes, showed 80% of all positive screening results were confirmed positive for COVID-19.
As program dates are confirmed, we will share that information with Residents’ family and friends.
Fairhaven Family COVID-19 Communication – January 26, 2021
Thank you to the families of our Residents who were able to provide consent forms for their loved one’s COVID-19 vaccinations after our Home’s distribution timeline was moved up. It has been a truly historic day for Fairhaven (FH) and for our Greater Peterborough community. It is a reflection of the values in our society when our most vulnerable, and at risk, citizens are prioritized for such important care in our ongoing battle against the coronavirus.
As a result of an enormous amount of planning and preparation, in a very short period of time, all of our Residents, that consented to receive the vaccines, have been given their first shot. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) was a strong lead in this new process, working through these inoculation procedures for the first time, and worked with our incomparable staff. Four “Strike Teams,” consisting of vaccinators from PPH and FH, post vaccine administrator monitors, “runners,” and PSWs familiar with Residents, worked methodically through our facility, with great focus and care.
We look forward to our second visit from PPH, and to the next steps in our return to an environment that provides a fulsome quality of life for our Residents.
Establishment of Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner
On December 9, 2020, the Central East LHIN notified Fairhaven that provincial funding for the establishment of a Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Practitioner position would be flowed to all Homes in the Province. It is the expectation, going forward, that all Homes have this dedicated resource to, among other duties:
- Establish and maintain a working relationship with our local IPAC Hub
- Provide formal IPAC training to staff
- Ensure strict adherence to established IPAC best practices
- Share knowledge with other long term care Homes
- Maintain on-going outbreak prevention and management programs and policies
- Monitor evolving viral threats
- Evaluate measures taken to counter environmental pathogens
- Promote the profile and importance of adherence to IPAC policies
- Respond to information requests, regarding infection prevention and control, from Residents, family members, Committee of Management, etc; and
- Establish an ongoing presence on facility’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC).
Lori Rowsell has accepted this role with Fairhaven, stepping into a position that will become a focal point for the maintenance of Resident and staff health, as well as the defense of our greater health sector against emerging epidemiological threats. As you will no doubt agree, Lori has an absolute wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and is extremely well respected, not only among Fairhaven stakeholders, but also within the community of all long term care facilities.