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COVID-19 Update

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on December 31, 2021

Dear Residents and Family,

As you are hearing in many news sources, Manitoba is experiencing a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, with very high test-positivity right across the province. The new Omicron variant is extremely infectious, requiring some temporary additional precautions to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable community members.

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.

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.

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

  • 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 absences will continue.
  • General visitors (fully vaccinated) will be permitted entry to the facility for end of life circumstances. 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.

This is not how we thought the year 2022 would begin. It is disappointing, disheartening and frustrating for all of us as we go through this.  As we have committed in previous letters, we as staff will do all we can to ensure your loved one experiences each filled with meaning and purpose, regardless of what is going on around us.  We are hoping that these additional precautions will be necessary for a very short period of time.

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

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on December 5, 2021

Dear Families:

We are sending you an update of what is happening since the last communication we sent you.  We continue to be in outbreak and following the directions from the provincial Medical Officers of Health and Southern Health-Santé Sud.  Infection Prevention & Control Protocols already were in place and are being monitored to ensure they are being followed.   Unfortunately, there are one/two residents in each care area testing positive for COVID-19.

As mentioned in previous letters, residents who are fully vaccinated are mostly asymptomatic, even when testing positive.  Some vaccinated residents are continuing to test negative.  This is a blessing for the residents. Residents who show signs or symptoms are being swabbed and primary caregivers will be notified.  Staff are working hard to prevent further spread.

Designated family caregivers are invited to assist their loved one wherever possible, especially during meal times.  We ask that you are extremely vigilant in using your PPE properly and continuously to prevent further spread and for your own safety. If we find that you have breached your use of PPE we may ask you to leave.

We are requiring that each visitor who enters the affected care area have education on the proper use of PPE, if you have not done so.  This includes how to put on and take off gowns and gloves, on top of your mask and eye shields.  You will need to wear these items properly for the entire visit, until you leave the care area.

For an education session on PPE use, including donning and doffing gowns, please contact the Director of Resident Care Services, Ms. Karin Oliveira, at koliveira@salemhome.ca. She will set a time best suited for all parties so the education is completed prior to entry into the care area.

It is now critical that you please respect the staff’s time and refrain from calling the Care Area directly as the nurses and staff are providing care at a different level.  The care of our residents is our first priority. Should you call the Care Area directly, the call may not be answered or returned immediately.

At this time, we are suspending visits in the Visitation Shelters for those residents who are isolating until further notice.  When this decision changes, we will let you know.

We know you share our concern about your loved one. Be assured staff and leadership are doing everything we can to mitigate the risks associated with having the virus in the facility.

Should you have concerns about your own health, please contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                          Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                         Director of Resident Care Services

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on November 24, 2021

We are sad to let you know that a number of residents living on Evergreen are testing positive for COVID-19. The Public Health Officer has declared it as an outbreak.  As in other outbreaks, we now follow directions from the province’s Medical Officer of Health and Southern Health-Santé Sud Infection, Prevention & Control, with outbreak precautions being implemented.

All residents on Evergreen are placed in the orange zone and continue to be monitored.  It is our experience from the outbreak on Cottonwood, that residents who are fully vaccinated were mostly asymptomatic, even when testing positive.  We will be swabbing residents who show signs or symptoms and the primary care givers will be notified of the test results.  This helps us to know how to move forward medically and also prevent further spread.

Contract tracing with staff have found that they are compliant with their use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  As designated family caregivers, you are still able to come in to Salem Home and we ask that you also remain vigilant in proper use of your PPE to prevent the virus from entering and from further spread.  If we find that you have breached your use of PPE we may ask you to leave.

We are requiring that each visitor who enters the Evergreen care area have education on the proper use of PPE.  This includes how to put on and take off gowns and gloves, on top of your mask and eye shields.  Everyone entering Evergreen will need to wear these items properly for the entire visit, until you leave the care area.

For an education session on PPE use, including donning and doffing gowns, please contact the Director of Resident Care Services, Ms. Karin Oliveira, at koliveira@salemhome.ca. She will set a time best suited for all parties so the education is completed prior to entry into Evergreen.

We ask that you please respect the staff’s time and refrain from calling the Care Area directly as the nurses and staff are now providing care at a different level.  The care of our residents is our first priority. Should you call the Care Area directly, the call may not be answered or returned immediately.

If you would like to assist us in caring for the residents, we would love to have your help caring for the residents in their rooms.  The time of most need is during meal times.

We know you share our concern about your loved one. Be assured staff and leadership are doing everything we can to mitigate the risks associated with having the virus in the facility.

Should you have concerns about your own health, please contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                          Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                         Director of Resident Care Services

 

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on November 5, 2021

Dear Family,

As we move on from the October 18th Public Health mandate implementation, we continue to manage, and your loved ones are being cared for well. Many staff are making personal sacrifices to ensure your family member receives the quality of care the staff are used to giving.  In addition, the Region, Shared Health and Minister of Health are doing whatever is possible to provide additional assistance in staffing where needed.

Volunteers and families have been incredibly supportive.  It is a big team with the same goal and we are blessed to have each one of you working with us.  Thank you for your prayers, your encouraging words, and your willingness to help where you can.

Salem Home just received word today at noon, that effective Monday, November 15, 2021, all personal care homes in Manitoba will require designated family caregivers to show proof of full vaccination in order to continue in this role. Proof of vaccination will be requested prior to entry.

The purpose of this is to ensure the safety of the residents who live in personal care homes and prevent the spread of COVId-19 within facilities, especially the highly infectious variants.

Other protective measures include:

  • A third dose or “booster” of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is now available to all PCH residents and health care workers.  This offers additional protection to residents who were vaccinated at least six months ago.
  • Continued screening of all staff and visitors before entry into the facility
  • Continued vigilance in infection prevention and control protocols: wearing of PPE, proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, etc.

Shared Health has given direction for those Designated Family Caregivers who are not fully vaccinated.  The Family Caregiver may continue to visit with the resident but must follow the guidelines in place for unvaccinated general visitors. This means making an appointment to visit in the visitation shelter/designated visitation room.  Please see the Salem Home website to make an appointment to visit. This is a change and may create some frustration.

As staff, we are continuing to make every effort to maintain important socialization and recreational activities for our residents while ensuring we take every opportunity to protect them from COVID-19.  In the coming weeks, it will begin to look like Christmas, and residents are looking forward to seeing what antics their elf gets up to.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have questions, please contact us

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                      Director of Resident Care Services

 

 

 

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on October 25, 2021

Dear Family,

Many of you are wondering how we have been doing over the last week.  We want to let you know that we are managing, and your loved ones have been well looked after.

As anticipated, there were some staff who came to work but made the decision not to follow the mandate of vaccinate or have a rapid test, and therefore were placed on leave from Salem Home.  However, we planned for this possible outcome.  Staff who are working are ensuring that all residents are being cared for with the same dedication as in the past.  We are thankful for the assistance from Southern Health-Santé Sud and Shared Health to fill in some of the gaps.  We have also had an influx of new volunteers to help with meals and other activities.  Going forward, we continue to evaluate our needs and address issues as they come up.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.  The community has been incredibly supportive and we appreciate it so much.  Winkler has been a hotspot in the news lately, but it is so nice to see the faithful, loving community members offer their help and show kindness to us.  The real Winkler that we know.

We also say a huge thank you to the families who have offered to help.  If you have any questions about how you can do this, please contact the Resident Care Managers on your loved one’s care area.  We continue to ask for your prayers as we navigate through this new season we are in.

Sincerely,

 

 

Sherry Janzen                                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families sent on September 15, 2021

Outbreak update

We are still in outbreak and currently working with the Medical Officer of Health to determine the length of the isolation required for those residents affected by it. We have been in communication with Cottonwood families in particular about details and will let you know once the outbreak is declared over. We continue to allow designated family members to come in to visit, as well as fully vaccinated residents can have fully vaccinated visitors. The only difference is that Cottonwood residents are not having patio/shelter visits at the moment.

Voting at Salem Home

We had a voting station set up here at Salem Home on September 14th in the afternoon. Many residents had the opportunity to go and vote. They were assisted by staff to get to the station and back to their rooms. We had in total 26 residents that casted their vote. What a privilege to allow the residents to fulfill their civil duty.

Upcoming vaccination week

We will once again have vaccine available at Salem Home for those residents that would like to be immunized. The vaccine we will have is the Moderna (as previous) and it will be here during the week of September 27 – October 3. If you would like your loved one to have it, please contact the Resident Care Manager of the care area where they live.

We have seen how the vaccine protects the residents from severe illness and it has made a big difference in the lives of those currently in the outbreak area. All the residents that had the vaccine had either no symptoms at all or very mild symptoms that lasted a day or two. It is definitely worth it! If you have any questions about the vaccine, please feel free to contact one of our physicians. The Resident Care Managers can set up a time for you to discuss the risks and benefits with them.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Sherry Janzen                                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

 

Covid-19 Update letter to Families sent on September 03 2021

Dear Family,

We need to let you know that, unfortunately, a second resident in Cottonwood Care Area at Salem Home has tested positive for COVID-19.  We are now officially in outbreak.  All residents in that area are being monitored by staff.  If your family member is being tested, you will be contacted directly.  Salem Home continues to follow the directions from the provincial Medical Officer of Health. We understand this news is unsettling and disconcerting for our residents and you, their family.

As each Care Area/Department is following their part of the Pandemic Response Plan, please respect the staff’s time and refrain from calling the Care Area frequently, as the nurses and staff are providing care at a different level.  The care of our residents is our first priority. Should you call the Care Area directly, the call may not be answered immediately.

At this time, Designated Caregivers and fully vaccinated General visitors may continue to visit their loved ones. It is imperative that you follow all Infection Control Protocols outlined for your specific designation – caregiver or visitor – wearing appropriate PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene.   Outdoor visits are suspended for Cottonwood residents at this time. For end-of-life care, pleases contact the RCM directly as to the current guidelines in place.  Thank you for your cooperation.

We know this creates anxiety and concerns for you as families.  Please know that Staff and leadership are doing everything possible to mitigate the risks associated with having the virus present in the facility.

Should you have concerns about your own health, please contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sherry Janzen                                                    Karin Oliveira

Director of Resident Care Services

 

Covid-19 Update letter send to families on August 27, 2021

Dear Family,

We have become aware that a resident in Salem Home on Cottonwood Care Area has tested positive for COVID-19.  All residents in that area are being monitored by staff.  If your family member is being tested, you will be contacted directly.

This is unsettling and disconcerting news for both our residents and you, their family. Salem Home is now following the directions from the province’s Medical Officer of Health.

Each Care Area/Department is working through their part of the Pandemic Response Plan.

We ask that you please respect the staff’s time and refrain from calling the Care Area frequently, as the nurses and staff are now providing care at a different level.  The care of our residents is our first priority. Should you call the Care Area directly, the call may not be answered immediately.

At this time, Designated Caregivers and fully vaccinated General visitors may continue to visit their loved ones.

We know you share our concern about your loved one. Be assured staff and leadership are doing everything we can to mitigate the risks associated with having the virus in the facility.

Should you have concerns about your own health, please contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

Sincerely,

Sherry Janzen                                    Karin Oliveira

CEO                                                        Director of Resident Care Services

 

Covid-19 Update Letter to Families on August 6, 2021

We are so happy that the Province is finally been able to go to “yellow” and that means things are opening up, restrictions are less in a lot of places. But, for health care facilities, we are not quite there yet.  As you can appreciate, we want to continue to keep your loved ones safe and healthy, so please take note of the changes that will start August 9, 2021, listed below from Shared Health and the Chief Provincial Medical Officer of Health (changes are in blue):

Designated Family Caregivers (DFC)

  • No changes in the visiting hours.
  • Masks and eye shields are still required.
  • No food or drink while in the facility.
  • Visits can happen in the resident’s room or on one of our courtyards (masks are still required in the courtyard).
  • Both identified DFC’s can visit at the same time, maintaining physical distance. If the resident is fully vaccinated, one (1) fully vaccinated general visitor can visit in the room at the same time with the DFC, providing physical distance can be maintained.

General Visitors (fully vaccinated – both doses longer than 14 days ago):

  • General visitors that are fully vaccinated can visit residents that are also fully vaccinated.
  • These visiting hours will be the same as the DFC:
    • 10:00am to 5:45pm weekdays and,
    • 1:00pm – 7:00pm on weekends.
  • Proof of vaccination (immunization card or printed copy of vaccine record) and photo ID (Driver’s license or passport) will be required upon entry.
  • Up to two (2) vaccinated visitors can visit at the same time in the resident’s room, keeping the door open at all times.
  • Mask and eye shields are required and will be provided by the screener.
  • No food or drink are allowed while in the facility.

General Visitors (fully vaccinated or not):

  • Up to two (2) general visitors can visit on the designated outdoor patio.
  • Visiting hours are:
    • Daily from 1:00 – 5:00pm;
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 – 8:00pm.
  • These visits have to be booked through our website: salemhome.simplybook.me
  • Masks are encouraged, but physical distance is still required and will be monitored during the visit. If the visitor wants to sit closer to the resident, mask is required. If physical distance is maintained, masks are not required.

Outings:

  • Fully vaccinated residents can go on outings with fully vaccinated visitor/DFC. No overnight stays. Medical masks are required for resident and driver of private vehicle to and from destination, due to no physical distancing in the vehicle.
  • If either resident or driver is not fully vaccinated, the outing MUST be kept to up to twice weekly for up to 2 hours each. Medical masks are required during transportation.
  • Physical distancing is still required during the outing.
  • Before leaving the facility, please communicate with the nurse and sign resident out at the front door, including destination.
  • Outings should occur during screening hours (10:00am – 5:45pm on weekdays, 1:00pm – 7:00pm on weekends).

We would like to thank all of you for being so patient and willing to work with us during the last 17 months. Let us not put our guard down yet and be diligent and responsible with the regained freedom so that we don’t have to lose it again.

Sincerely,

 

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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