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COVID-19 Update

Covid-19 Update Letter sent to families on June 21, 2022

Dear Families,

Outbreak is over

As of June 15th, we are no longer in an outbreak. These last three outbreaks that we had affected over 40 residents and many staff, but we had no serious outcomes, which is what we want. We know that we will not be able to avoid the infection completely, but we want to avoid any unnecessary suffering. Thank you again for your support and understanding during these times. We have updated somewhat the visitation guidelines (see below), but ask that you still consider staying away if you are sick. Every time we are in outbreak, residents need to be isolated, so preventing it is the best we can do for our residents.

Clarification on visiting:

INDOOR VISITING:

  • Two individuals may visit a resident at a time.
  • Masks and eye protection will be provided to all visitors and must be worn during the entire visit with resident while inside the building.
  • Please do not visit with other residents or staff.

OUTDOOR VISITING:

  • Patios and the courtyard are open and available to use.
  • Masks and eyes protection are still required due to the possibility of other residents being around.
  • If taking resident out to a parking lot or for a walk, masks and eye protection are not required.

VISITING AWAY FROM SALEM:

  • You are welcome to take the resident outside for a walk, or even across the street for an ice-cream
  • If you plan to go to a private residence, all individuals present there should not be sick or be under isolation. Maintain physical distance as best as able (a quick hand shake or hug is okay, with masks on).
  • Travelling in a vehicle is a high-risk situation for both the driver and the passenger, due to the close proximity of the individuals, the air flow in the vehicle and the time spent in close contact. When leaving Salem Home, the following is recommended:
  • Driver and other passengers must be screened
  • Minimal number of people in the vehicle
  • All individuals in the vehicle MUST wear a mask at all times
  • If possible, keep windows open during travel

Visiting hours are:          

  • Monday to Friday: 10:30am to 6:15pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 1pm-7pm 

Please remember that there is someone to open the door during these times.  If you bring your loved one back after that, you need to make arrangements with the nurse on the unit to open the door for you.

Eating/drinking while visiting

If you are planning on eating or drinking while visiting your loved one, please make sure that this happens outside of Salem Home. You can purchase something in the cafeteria and take it with you when you take your loved one outside. Patios and courtyards are not included as “outside”.

Message from Therapeutic Recreation Manager, Vanessa McGregor (325-4316 ext 230):

DUET BIKES have been up and running!  For those of you who are not familiar with what these are, they are bicycles that ANYONE can go on, even if someone is in a wheelchair.  There is someone that pedals and the resident can sit in the front and just enjoy the ride.  Families and friends are able to use these bikes as long as they have had an orientation to how they work beforehand.  If you are wanting orientation, please contact Vanessa to make arrangements.  Once you have this, you are free to come and use the bikes by checking in with the screener at the front when you arrive.

The Eden Foundation is having a Tractor Trek on Saturday, July 9th.  Volunteers will be available to take residents out to see this in the morning.  However, they will also be coming by in the afternoon between 3:30pm and 4:30pm (subject to change).  We invite you to come for this time to assist your loved one with going outside to watch the parade, if they desire to do so.   Otherwise, they can watch from inside.

There is a tablet available with WhatsApp that can be used for family communication.  If you are interested, please contact Vanessa to arrange a time for video calls.

 

Sincerely,

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update Letter sent to families on May 27, 2022

Dear Families,

Unfortunately, our good news from our last update was short lived.  There are several residents on Maple South who have tested positive for COVID-19 and the Medical Officer of Health has declared the area to be in outbreak again.

So, once again, we ask that you do not visit if you have ANY kind of symptoms, even if you think it’s “just a cold” or if you have been with someone that is sick. Our residents are very vulnerable and even if it doesn’t affect you very much, it can cause a big deal of distress to one of them.  If one of the residents has symptoms, we have to keep them in their room, which in itself is stressful.  It is also very hard on staff who are working many extra shifts and wearing full PPE.  That is why we are pleading with you to stay home when sick!

What changes for the outbreak area?

  • If you are a high risk of becoming sick, please stay home.
  • Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn when entering a “red room”. This includes medical mask, eye protection, gown and gloves.  If you have never worn the full PPE or would like a refresher on how to put this on and take it off properly, please talk to the Nurse prior to entering the care area so they can provide you with education.  If not worn or removed properly, this can aid in the spread or get you and/or your household sick.
  • At this time, we will allow only one visitor to visit each resident at a time (in red and orange zones).

Thank you for helping us to keep our residents safe by being diligent in hand hygiene and wearing your PPE properly.  Please keep us in your prayers as we go through this very difficult time.

Outings: (only for residents in green zone) – During visiting hours

Traveling in a vehicle is a high-risk situation for both the driver and the passenger, due to the close proximity of the individuals, the air flow in the vehicle and the time spent in close contact. When leaving Salem Home, the following is recommended:

  • Driver and other passengers must be screened
  • Minimal number of people in the vehicle
  • All individuals in the vehicle MUST wear a mask at all times
  • If possible, keep windows open during travel

Having said all that, if you want to take your loved one for ice cream across the street, you are welcomed to do so, or take them for a walk outside.

If you plan to go to a private residence, all individuals present there should not be sick or be under isolation. Maintain physical distance as best as able (a quick hand shake or hug is okay, with masks on).

We understand that this is not ideal, but unfortunately, we are not over COVID yet (our three recent outbreaks have proven that!) and still need to follow the Public Health orders. Thank you for your understanding and for respecting those other residents who your loved ones live with every day.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update Letter sent to families on May 18, 2022,

We have several very exciting pieces of news to share with you.  The first is that the Medical Officer of Health has declared the outbreak at Salem Home is over!  Evergreen’s was over on Monday, May 16th, and Cottonwood’s yesterday, May 17th!  There were a total of 36 residents who acquired COVID-19 infections, and all are recovering.  We want to thank you for your support during this difficult time.

The second piece of good news is that Phase 1 of the Cottonwood renovations is now complete!  We waited over a year for the construction project to be done and appreciate everyone’s patience. Cottonwood residents have begun the process of moving back to the East hallway rooms and checking out the new environment.  The hallway and rooms are completely transformed and look amazing!  We hope they will especially benefit those who need the assistance of a ceiling lift as they can reach anywhere in the room.  They also have features that are beneficial for those with Dementia.  Now we move onto Phase 2, which involves the rooms of Cottonwood’s south hallway and Maple North’s North hallway.

Now that we are in the middle of May we hope the sun will come out and residents can again enjoy going out on the patios and doing the summer activities that go along with it.  Flowers and vegetables have been planted inside and hopefully can go out very soon!

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update letter sent to families on April 11, 2022

Easter is right around the corner and unfortunately, we are once again in an outbreak and it is on the second floor.  As much as the world around us is trying to get back to normal, we still have a long way to go when it comes to health care facilities.  COVID-19 is still around and we still have the same responsibility – keep the residents safe.

So, once again, we ask that you do not visit if you have ANY kind of symptoms, even if you think it’s “just a cold” or if you have been with someone that is sick. Our residents are very vulnerable and even if it doesn’t affect you very much, it can cause a big deal of distress to one of them. If one of the residents has symptoms, we have to keep them in their room, which on itself is stressful. That is why we are pleading with you to stay home!

We have noticed that many are gathering in our parking lot and ask that you please do not do so, it is not the place for an Easter gathering.  There have been many questions about family members visiting in the Heritage room.  At this time, there is still no visiting in the Heritage room.  You may visit with your loved one in their room or take them for a walk, but not to stop in between. We are also still not allowing residents to go out for gatherings over Easter.

What changes for the outbreak area?

  • If you are a high risk of becoming sick, please stay home.
  • Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn when entering the outbreak area. This includes medical mask, eye protection, gown and gloves.  If you have never worn the full PPE or would like a refresher on how to put this on and take it off properly, please talk to the Nurse prior to entering the care area so they can provide you with education.
  • At this time, we will allow only one visitor to visit each resident at a time.

Thank you for helping us to keep our residents safe by being diligent in hand hygiene and wearing your PPE properly.

 

Over the last two years, one of the questions we hear often is “when are the Church services starting again?”  Well, we would like to let you know that we have started and had a Palm Sunday Service yesterday!  There is a communion service planned for Easter Sunday as well.  For those unable to come to the Chapel, communion may be served in their rooms.  There is a rotation of several Churches that will take turns hosting a service on Sunday morning in the chapel.  At this point, it will be only available for Maple and Cottonwood residents, and there is a maximum number who can attend, based on the size and distance requirements.  This is still a trial, as we plan to move forward. Pastor Aron Friesen also continues to hold Chapel services during the week in each care area.

In celebration of Easter this coming weekend, we will leave you with a verse:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

                1 Peter 1:3

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update letter sent to families on February 25, 2022

Dear Families

You will have heard in the Provincial announcement yesterday that Manitoba has further reduced restrictions.  It is exciting to think that we will be leaving the pandemic and entering the endemic phase, but we still need to do so cautiously.  After much thought and discussion, we have developed the next phase of action in relation to the Public Health Order.

Effective March 1, 2022, there will no longer be a vaccination status requirement for visitors coming to Salem Home.  While everyone will again be able to visit, there will still be guidelines in place, which will be as follows:

  • Everyone will be screened upon entry and provided a medical mask and eye shield, to be worn properly for the entire time you are in Salem Home. Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be used as required.
  • Failure to wear PPE properly will result in immediate removal from the facility, and follow-up will be required with Manager/Director prior to re-entry.
  • All visitors will sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave.
  • Only two people can visit a resident at a time, to allow for social distancing.
  • If children are visiting, they must be accompanied by an adult at all times and remain in the resident’s room.
  • Visit must occur in resident’s room unless you are taking them for a walk.
  • The Heritage Room is not available for families to use. With the need for social distancing, staff continue to use this room for their breaks.  The elevator going downstairs to laundry is still not yet repaired, so laundry is using the staff room and Oma’s kitchen for this.
  • Visitation shelters will no longer be used.
  • Please stay home if you are experiencing any cold symptoms.

We’ve heard from several families that the screening times are over too soon in the evening during the week, so we have extended them to below.   Please note the starting times are later than previous.  New times will be in effect on March 1, 2022.

  • Monday to Friday, 10:30am – 6:15pm, with no entry over lunch 12:00pm – 12:30pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 1:00pm – 7:00pm, with no entry over supper 5:00pm – 5:30pm

With the increase in visitation, there is a higher risk of outbreak, so we ask that you please follow the guidelines to keep all residents and staff as safe as we can, and to try to prevent a further outbreak from occurring.  If an outbreak does take place, there will be modifications to the visitation which we will inform you about at that time.

Thank you for all your support.  We look forward to seeing you!

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update letter sent to families on February 17, 2022.

Dear Families

GOOD NEWS TO SHARE: Expanding Visitor Access – A Phased Approach

While COVID-19 remains a risk to the health and wellness of our personal care home residents, Manitoba’s high vaccine uptake and the decreasing level of transmission of the virus in our community are allowing for a phased loosening of visitor restrictions.

Within our facility, and across Manitoba, COVID-19 remains a significant area of focus and priority.  Due to the increased risk of spread to residents in congregate settings, many of whom have pre-existing health conditions that put them at greater risk for severe illness, we continue to take every preventative measure to reduce the risk of the virus to our residents.

We are very pleased to see the provincial situation stabilizing and look forward to once again welcoming family and friends for visits, celebrations and activities. Visitor access will expand gradually over the next several weeks and we thank you for your patience, cooperation and respect for the guidelines as they change. The timing of these changes may be different from the changes that occur in public settings and we will work to ensure you have up-to-date and accurate information about changes that affect visitation to our facility.

Our goal is to keep COVID-19 out of Salem Home if possible and to minimize the spread for both the safety of our residents and the protection of our employees.

 

While changes to visitor access will not happen all at once, effective Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the first phase of expanded visitor access will occur.

 

Designated Family Caregivers

  • No changes, except two (2) may visit at the same time if they are from the same household.
  • Visiting hours continue to be:
    • Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 5:45pm
    • Saturday and Sunday: 1:00pm – 7:00pm

 

General Visitors:

  • Fully vaccinated visitors can visit the resident in the room.
  • Facility provided mask and eye protection must be worn at all times and physical distance must be maintained.
  • Visitation is allowed during regular visitation hours.
  • Screening will occur and proof of vaccination is required at every visit.
  • Only one (1) visitor at a time, or 2 (two) if from the same household.

 

Shelter visits:

  • Not fully vaccinated general visitors can visit in the shelters.
  • Visits will need to be scheduled from the Salem Home website salemhome.simplybook.me
  • If you are unable to access the website, please leave a message with the Therapeutic Recreation Department (204-325-4316 extension 230). Your visit will not be confirmed until you are contacted back.
  • Facility provided masks are required during the entire visiting time and physical distance has to be maintained.
  • Only one (1) visitor at a time is allowed, or 2 (two) if from the same household.

 

We will make every effort to keep you updated on planned changes.

We will also continue to closely monitor COVID activity in the community, as well as in long term care, along with any outbreaks, as these will require some necessary modifications. Again, thank you for your patience. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on February 9, 2022

Dear Residents and Family,

We are very pleased to announce that our outbreak was declared over on February 5, 2022!  Staff have worked really hard and have put in a lot of extra hours, so we thank them for that.

Elevator

Some of you may have heard that our elevator going to the basement has stopped working.  A new cylinder needs to be built that is specific to the elevator, and will take several more weeks to repair.  Our laundry services are located in the basement so our staff would have used this multiple times a day.  Now laundry staff are going up and down the stairs bringing down the dirty and bringing up the clean.  You can imagine this would be very tiresome!  We have had a lot of extra help carrying loads up and down but we want everyone to remain safe.  While we wait for the repairs to be completed we will now be sending most of our laundry out to be washed.  This includes the bedding and towels, as well as personal laundry, etc.  If you would rather wash your loved one’s personal laundry yourself, please contact the Resident Care Managers to make arrangement for this.

Wi-Fi

Over the years, many of you have asked about Wi-Fi in our building.  We are excited to announce that Valley Fiber is being installed!  There will be extra access points throughout the building, which means it should be available in each resident’s room.  Of course, with this extra service there will be a slight increase to the service fee that you pay.  More information on this will come out once it is finalized.

Cottonwood Renovations

The renovations on Cottonwood continue to wait on the ERV (air handling unit).  Once the ERV is here and has been installed, the air needs to be balanced before residents can return to these rooms.  That process takes four (4) weeks.  During that time, we hope to hold an open house for anyone who wishes to see the newly renovated space before residents move in.  The link is well underway which will have the other ERV unit sit on it for Phase 2. These new ERVs meet the new CSA air quality standards for Personal Care Homes.

Visitations

So far, there have been no changes to the visitation requirements. Designated Family Caregivers that are fully vaccinated can continue to come into the building for visits during the visitation hours. There are NO general visits allowed at this time. If you would like to book a virtual visit, please contact Alana Thiessen, Volunteer Coordinator. There is no reason why you can’t see and talk to your loved one, we will make every effort to make this happen.

Therapeutic Recreation

We are currently in the process of hiring a new Therapeutic Recreation Manager, since Julie retired at the end of last year. The TR department is still very active and busy, making sure the resident’s psycho-social health is maintained. TR staff have been working hard to prepare for Valentine’s Day and making it special for the residents.  There will be special cards and activities for all.  With the celebration of love and friendships, we will leave you with these verses:

 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thinks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:12-17

 

 

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

Chief Executive Officer                                                  Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families on January 14, 2022

We apologize for sending out so many updates in such a short period of time, however, since the beginning of this pandemic we have said we would keep you as up to date as we can, and we will continue to do so.

We have further updates for you on the most current visiting guidelines:

  • In addition to only having vaccinated Designated Family Caregivers enter Salem Home, it can only be one person at a time.
  • In the last couple months, you were able to visit with your loved one in other common areas. This has changed so that you may only visit with the resident in their room, just as before.  This means when you enter the building you need to go directly to their room only and then back out when you are leaving.  You may still use the public washroom located in the Heritage room, if needed.  If you need anything, please use the call bell and someone will be by to assist you.
  • This last point also means that families will not be able to attend the Resident Family Council meetings that were set to start next week. If you have an item to be discussed, please forward these on to Stephanie Thiessen, Social Worker.

Salem Home remains under an Outbreak status.  Maple, Cottonwood and Evergreen are all Green, while Willow is now under a code Red, with several residents testing positive for COVID.  If your loved one has tested positive we will contact you directly.

For those on Willow, please contact the Unit Nurse or Dayna Jonasson (Resident Care Manager) prior to visitation, or if you have any further questions.  You may continue to visit, but we do not recommend it at this time due to the high transmissibility of the current virus.  Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn and you will need to be educated on the proper way to put this on and take off prior to coming onto the care area.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers during this difficult time,

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

Chief Executive Officer                                                  Director of Resident Care Services

 

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on January 5, 2022

We are receiving some questions regarding the Designated Family Caregivers, so this letter comes as a clarification.

The parameters of the Public Health Order are as follows and came into effect on January 03, 2022.

  • Fully vaccinated Designated Family Caregivers will continue to visit their resident during the established hours. It is critically important that all PPE protocols are strictly adhered to.
  • All essential medical appointments will continue.
  • General visitors (fully vaccinated) will be permitted entry to the facility for end of life circumstances only. Please contact the Resident Care Area where your loved one lives to make arrangements for your visit.
  • Visitation Shelter visits are suspended until further notice.
  • Manitoba Health has made the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend both social visits and social leaves for all residents. This comes in consultation with public health and provincial infection prevention and control.

We truly understand these parameters are limiting and impact residents and families.  We continue to advocate for family/general visits to Shared Health at every opportunity that presents itself.  However, as you are hearing in many news sources, Manitoba is having a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, with the Omicron variant becoming more prevalent. It is extremely infectious, and requires more precautions to ensure the protection of your loved one.

As we have let you know from the beginning of the pandemic so many months ago, our goal is to keep your loved one as safe as we can and to minimize the spread of the virus within the home for the residents’ safety, and for the protection of the staff caring for your loved one.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have questions, please refer to the frequently asked questions document or reach out to us directly.  We ask for your continued prayers as we enter another phase of the pandemic.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the very best in 2022.

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

Chief Executive Officer                                                  Director of Resident Care Services

 

For more information on Salem Home’s previous Covid-19 updates please click here 

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