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COVID-19 Update

Letter sent to Families on January 4, 2021

Hello to all Families:

RE: UPDATE

We are at the beginning of a new year. The last year is behind us with many lessons learned.  My prayer is that we will slowly begin to find a new normal as the horizon brightens with the vaccination process imminent.

Below are Salem Home’s statistics related to COVID-19 as of January 04, 2021.  Again, to ensure you are not inundated with emails/letters, we will let families know of a positive case only when contact tracing is required.

Bed Numbers Resident Positive Cases Residents Recovered Deceased

145

6 5 1

 

Staff Positive Cases Staff Recovered
06 06

As of January 04 2021, all the Care Areas are now designated Green. This is exactly one month to the day that the outbreak occurred on Maple North. However, Salem Home remains at Outbreak Status until the end of January.  Should there be no new cases during this time, the outbreak will be lifted.  If another positive COVID test comes back – staff or resident, we remain in Outbreak status.

These are the statistics from the Maple North area during their very busy few weeks:

  • 37 COVID swabs were done on maple north.
  • 31 swabs returned negative.
  • Five (5) were positive and recovered.
  • One (1) deceased due to COVID.
  • Four (4) residents were never tested or suspect.
  • ZERO staff have developed COVID as a result of working on Maple North.

Designated Family Caregivers

  • Thank you for being a member of the Care Team. We appreciate and thank you for your commitment to your loved one’s well-being.
  • As the province remains in Level Red, all infection control protocols outlined in   previous updates continue to be in effect. We ask you to be diligent in following those protocols when visiting Salem Home.
  • One Designated Family Caregiver may enter per 24 hour period. The hours of visitation are expanded from 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM, every day of the week, until further notice.  During your visit, please assist your loved one as they go about their day in their suite.
  • It is critical that the Designated Caregivers follow the PPE guidelines set out for them during their visit. With all Care Areas at Green, medical masks and eye shields continue to be mandatory.
    • REMINDERplease remember to leave your eye shield/frame in the container provided as you are leaving Salem Home. The shields and frames are cleaned and sent through the UV-c chamber after each use.  This equipment is a significant cost to Salem Home and too expensive to use only on a one-time basis.
  • Only Designated Caregivers are permitted to enter into the building. This includes all end-of-life and palliative care situations.  Please do not ask for exceptions.
  • Designated Caregivers are also reminded that personal food and beverages are not allowed in resident rooms. The cafeteria services, including purchase of coffee, to family is suspended until further notice.
  • If caregivers have not received the PPE educational sessions, please contact Julie Ruban-MacDonald to let her know. More sessions will be arranged in the future.

Vaccine

  • Provincial plans for vaccination to Personal Care Homes are ramping up. Specific details are not yet available.  PCHs are advocating that Vaccine Consent Forms/Fact Sheet are completed prior to the distribution of the vaccine so the time lapse is minimal.

Thoughts for 2021

  • We are encouraged by how families have responded when residents were experiencing a change in their health status. Thank you for your support of the staff, and especially your prayers.
  • We are incredibly proud of how the staff managed during the last month. They demonstrated extraordinary teamwork as they worked to meet all the demands that the additional workload added.  This includes resident care, dietary, laundry and volunteers who came in to fold gowns.
  • A huge thank you to the Resident Care Managers, Director of Resident Care Services, Director of Support Services, Infection Prevention & Control Officer and Volunteer Coordinator for the many, many extra hours spent to ensure adequate resources were in place so staff could care for residents.
  • There is a long way to go yet, before we can take a deep breath and say this is over. Another positive case takes us right back to the beginning, but for now we show our gratitude and appreciation for navigating the last month and will celebrate where we can.

Thank you for walking with us during this unprecedented time.  Thank you for understanding that some of the guidelines in place are mandated by the province, for your kindness and your encouragement.

Please continue to

  • Be mindful of what you are asking staff to do – whether to answer the door after hours, answering the phone, or bringing items to the residents.
  • Follow all PPE requirements as outlined, especially keeping on masks while visiting
  • Pray for safety and health for all residents and staff.

Remember to wash your hands, wear a mask responsibly and sanitize after you need to touch it.  And stay home, especially if you are not feeling well.

 

Blessings for the New Year to you and your family,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                              Karin Oliveira

Chief Executive Officer                                               Director of Resident Care Services

 

Letter send to Family on December 22, 2020

Christmas Greetings,

It is the week of Christmas and there is anticipation of Christmas Day in the air.  There are cards, gifts, chocolates, pictures, and more cards for each resident.  Each day the residents get some special memento from school children, families, or community members.  We are blessed to live in a community that supports those who can no longer live independently.  2020 has not been an easy year for anyone.  There have been challenges and joys.  Through it all we have placed our trust in our all-knowing God.  He walks before us and beside us.  We have felt his presence with us each day.

Below are Salem Home’s statistics related to COVID-19 as of December 22, 2020.  Again, to ensure you are not inundated with emails/letters, we will let families know of a positive case only when contact tracing is required.

Bed Numbers Resident Positive Cases Residents Recovered Deceased
145 2 3 1

 

Staff Positive Cases Staff Recovered
05 05

As a further measure of infection control, the Governing Board has approved the installation of UV-c Disinfecting systems that clean the air prior to entering the building.  The first of these units is being installed today, December 22, 2020.

Designated Family Caregivers

  • You are part of the Care Team and we thank you for your commitment to your loved one’s well-being.
  • As the province remains in Level Red, all infection control protocols outlined in previous updates continue to be in effect.
  • One Designated Family Caregiver may enter per 24 hour period. The hours of visitation are expanded from 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM, every day of the week, until further notice.  In expanding the hours, it allows for Caregivers to assist your loved one during mealtimes, spend time visiting or assisting in whatever way you can, especially on Maple.
  • If your loved one living in other areas of the building requires assistance with their meals, someone will contact you.
  • It is critical that the Designated Caregivers follow the PPE guidelines set out for them during their visit.
  • For Green and Yellow Zones – medical masks and eye shields are mandatory. Salem Home will provide the medical masks when you enter the facility.
  • For Orange, and Red zones – gowns, medical masks, gloves, and eye shields are required without fail. Should these guidelines not be respected or followed, caregivers may be asked to find an alternate person to visit their loved one.
  • At this time only Designated Caregivers will be permitted to enter into the building. An incident occurred where a family member did not declare their COVID-19 symptoms. This situation put residents and staff at risk and could result in catastrophic outcomes for anyone who was exposed. Those who have been affected by this incident have been contacted.
  • This includes all end-of-life and palliative care situations. Please do not ask for exceptions.
  • For those caregivers who have not received the PPE educational sessions, please contact Julie Ruban-McDonald to let her know. More sessions will be arranged in the future.

Gifts

  • Should families wish to bring in or drop off gifts, please ensure your gift can fit into the UV-c Disinfecting Chamber (32”wide by 17” high). This cleans the gift before it goes to your resident.
  • Anything you bring in before or after screening hours are over (including food), just leave in the drop off bin. The bin will be checked periodically.
  • Please do not ring the doorbell as staff will be busy providing care and leaving the care area usually means removing all PPE including gowns etc., which takes time.
  • If you wish to say thank you to staff, we ask that chocolates, etc. be individually wrapped. Or if you choose, you may donate a dollar amount which will be used to provide treats for the staff as a thank you on your behalf.

Therapeutic Recreation

  • Therapeutic Recreation hours are increased until such a time as we have navigated our way through the outbreak. This is to ensure residents days are filled with activities and visits that are meaningful.

Vaccine

  • Provincial plans are underway to deliver the vaccine to the Personal Care Homes residents’ and staff when it becomes available.
  • As the process becomes clearer, you will receive more information from us.

Final Thoughts for 2020

The last 10 months have been ones of relentless vigilance and anxiety for staff to not bring the virus into the building.  As with Designated Caregivers, staff are careful of where they go, who they meet and what they do to keep everyone associated with Salem Home safe.

Thank you for your care, concern and encouragement these weeks and months.  We ask that you continue to be mindful of what you are asking staff to do – whether to answer the door after hours, answering the phone, or bringing items to the residents.  Staff must wear the full PPE, and to take gowns, etc. off takes time.

Please keep the residents and staff in your prayers.  Again, thank you for your kindness, patience, and understanding as we strive to keep the residents and each other safe.

Remember to wash your hands, wear a mask responsibly and sanitize after you need to touch it.  And stay home, especially if you are not feeling well.

Christmas Blessings to you and your family,

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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