Dear Health & Transition Services Families:
As reported this week, Adult Health Services (3rd floor) in H&TS received positive COVID-19 results in a staff member and person supported. I understand how concerning this is to everyone in our community, especially for those who are directly affected by this news. The individuals who tested positive have mild symptoms and are doing well. Our thoughts are with them for a speedy recovery.
The person supported was immediately transferred to our COVID-19 Cohort Area, which is a space that is completely separate from all other resident care areas. Staff assigned to work in this area stay there for their entire shift and wear the required PPE at all times. We are monitoring them closely and have activated our COVID-19 Care Plan to ensure we are responding to any changes in medical status immediately. Our physicians and Nurse Practitioner are engaged and checking in frequently, with on-site visits happening three times a week at minimum.
Additionally, we have moved seven individuals from the first floor to another part of our facility to ensure we have additional cohort space if necessary. You would have received a phone call if your loved one moved today. The people who moved are settling in nicely and are enjoying exploring their new (temporary) space.
Our Infection Prevention & Control team, with support from Occupational Health completed the contact tracing related to the positive resident case yesterday evening. Any staff or person supported assessed to be a medium or high risk contact is isolating or monitoring themselves appropriately. All the people supported in the affected area have been placed on isolation precautions for a minimum of 2 weeks and are being assessed twice a day for symptoms. If your loved one develops symptoms and requires a COVID-19 test, you will be notified immediately. Our staff, Recreation Team, and Clinical Services have plans in place to ensure that the people supported are engaged in meaningful 1:1 activity, either virtually or in-person.
In-person visits will remain suspended for the entire facility until our full risk-assessment is complete. Virtual visits are available for the individuals who are on isolation precautions, and both virtual and window wishes visits can be arranged for those being supported in the other care areas. Please reach out to the staff in your loved one’s care area to arrange these visits. There have been some new recommendations from Shared Health regarding in-person visits. Once we resume in person visitation, it will continue to be one designated caregiver at a time, and you will be required to wear eye protection along with your medical mask. We will provide you with both of these items at the front screening station, and our screener team will be there to assist you in putting these items on. The staff in your loved one’s care area will help you take it off safely. Finally, any eating and drinking during a visit is not permitted. As we learn more about the transmission of COVID-19, removing masks to drink or eat has been flagged as very high risk for transmission.
I want you to know that although most of the information in this email is about the safety measures and procedures we are taking to keep your family members safe, our team is equally dedicated to your family member’s quality of life. We are seeing some incredibly creative work happening between the Health & Transition team and Volunteer Services to ensure that everyone is spending time in a meaningful way. Thank you for your continued support and confidence in the work we do; things are challenging right now but we will get through this together.
Director, Health & Transition Services