Dear Health & Transition Services Families:
Today we learned that an additional staff person from Adult Health Services West tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing has begun. We continue to monitor all people supported within Adult Health Service closely for symptoms, and outbreak protocols remain in place.
There has been some amazing team work happening in Health & Transition Services this week with staff from various program areas clearly demonstrating how dedicated they are to your family members!
We have decided to designate the entire Adult Services East (ASE) area as a COVID cohort zone to support any of the people in H&TS if they need it, regardless of their needs (with a few exceptions in Stabilization, where the environment wouldn’t be suitable). To accomplish that, a lot of moving and organizing had to happen and today was an incredible show of team spirit at 440 River Road. All the H&TS staff, Housekeeping, Operations and Clinical teams pulled together to ensure that the COVID Cohort space is comfortable and welcoming and that the staff have assigned areas to change and to put on and take off their Personal Protective Equipment safely and a space to have breaks safely.
Thank you to all of you who we’ve spoken with about moves for your loved ones – your support, understanding and encouragement means the world to us.
I wanted to take some time today to talk about what Health & Transition Services feels like these days as we are often sharing the technical details of planning and responding.
Although the halls are quieter with many people working off site, the care areas that are not on precautions are still full of people supported and staff, who are laughing, eating, sharing and enjoying each other’s company (at a safe distance). While we have to keep safe – we are working hard to keep everyone’s spirits up, and luckily that looks a lot like what you’re used to seeing – with just the Personal Protective Equipment as part of the uniform.
For care areas that are on precautions where people need to stay in their room, we have been able to maintain excellent staffing ratios that consist of Resident Assistant, Nurses, and Recreation Staff, along with frequent pop-ins from our Housekeeping staff. When you add all of this up, the people who are isolating are in their rooms but certainly aren’t alone! We have also continued to plan for support in case our staffing becomes a challenge. Our first step will be to connect with families to see if you’re available to support your loved one. We’ve also on-boarded 80 volunteers who are ready to step in to take on care, recreation or friendly visitor roles.
Starting this week, Andrew Terhoch, our Spiritual Health Practitioner will begin visiting three times a week, in person, to offer support to your family members and to also check in on staff wellbeing. As you know, Andrew has a wonderful ability to connect with the emotional wellbeing of the person and has been maintaining strong connections with your loved ones virtually since the start of this pandemic.
Staff are doing well. They all care deeply about your family members and they are committed to keeping everyone safe. We need our team to be healthy and optimistic and engaged and our leadership team is doing an incredible job supporting their teams to understand the Infection & Prevention Control needs, to focus on quality of life, routine and meaningful engagement with your loved ones while also encouraging team support and fun.
Overall, the Health & Transition Services you know, looks and feels the same – it’s just a little quieter.
I’m very confident that the work we accomplished this week is our best defence against the spread of COVID. I know that the people receiving care in the COVID Cohort area are being very well supported with one-to-one care right now. We are all feeling a bit on edge, and hoping that we can get COVID out of our building as soon as possible and we are praying for good outcomes – but we are also finding joy in the small moments, we are making fun and connecting together to get us through.
Director, Health & Transition Services