December 9th, 2021 COVID-19 Update

9 December 2021

Dear Residents/Patients/Families,

COVID-19 remains a risk to the health and wellness of our residents and patients at Riverview Health Centre, particularly as highly contagious variants circulate in the community.

We know these have been exceptionally difficult months and we are grateful for your cooperation and respect for the guidelines that have been put in place to protect residents, patients, family, staff and our community.

December is a month most often spent celebrating with family and friends. This year, as we again navigate a holiday season amid COVID restrictions, there are some changes to the activities we are able to permit, and the measures that we must take in order to support them safely.

We ask that you and your family give some thought to ways to celebrate special events, including birthdays, milestones and the holiday season in a manner that respects the following guidelines:

Group activities and meals:

  • Group recreation activities with residents who are well continue to be offered to a maximum of 25 where physical distancing can be maintained (including residents, staff and entertainers). Group activities are restricted to a single unit/floor unless all residents attending are fully vaccinated.  Physical distancing must be maintained. Residents who are able to, will be encouraged to wear masks throughout the activity.
  • Entertainers, provided they are fully vaccinated and follow guidance, are also able to attend as part of recreation programming. Singing is not permitted.
  • Current COVID-19 activity in the community means that we will not be hosting a family holiday meal or tea this year, however you may wish to bring food for your loved one to enjoy. Unfortunately, sharing of the food/meal with your family member will not be permitted.

Food and Gifts:

  • Food donations or gifts for staff or residents/patients may be accepted providing that the items are individually wrapped. Distribution or serving of food products must follow existing guidance, including frequent hand hygiene and cleaning/disinfecting of high touch areas (including any shared utensils or condiments). Physical distancing must be maintained.  
  • Cards or letters are very much welcome.

Social Leaves

  • Social leaves continue to be discouraged, however we know that families may wish to enjoy time together outside of RHC.  The following guidance must be followed to minimize risk:
    • For fully vaccinated residents, a leave may be permitted at the health care team’s discretion, with travel directly to and from the intended location. All individuals involved in the transportation of the resident must be fully vaccinated. (It is recommended that you minimize the number of people in the vehicle i.e. driver and resident/patient, or the addition of one escort if needed). All individuals aged 12 and up who are physically present at the gathering must be fully vaccinated. For individuals aged 5-11, vaccination is strongly recommended. All individuals at the gathering must not have any cold/flu symptoms or other symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19.  Masks must be worn and physical distancing maintained.
      • For our hospital patients, leaves are discouraged but may be considered on an individual basis and the above need to be followed
    • For unvaccinated residents/patients, social leaves are not permitted. Alternate visitation, including use of virtual connections and visitation shelters (Pods) will be offered.
      • Dec. 24th 1:00-4:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 25th 1:00-7:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 26th 1:00-7:00 p.m.
      • Dec. 28-31 normal hours (1:00-7:00 p.m.)
      • Jan. 1 1:00-7:00 p.m.
      • Please call early to arrange a time 204-478-6208 between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Visit bookings will end at noon on Dec. 24th and will not re-open again until Dec. 29th
    • Please note that in circumstances where guidelines or public health requirements are believed not to have been followed, an assessment of measures required in order to support safe return to the facility will be completed. Measures may include a required isolation period at the discretion of RHC.

NOTE: Guidance is regularly being updated as new, highly contagious, variants are identified. We are closely monitoring the emergence of the Omicron variant, as well as any restrictions placed on recently returned travelers which may impact your ability to visit our facility or participate in a resident’s/patient’s social leave, if applicable.

Information can change quickly and we appreciate your cooperation as we share updated guidance or make necessary changes to protect the health and safety of residents/patients over the coming weeks.

We know that these requirements will be disappointing to you – and we share the disappointment of not yet being able to fully celebrate important milestones with you and your loved ones.  We are wholeheartedly prepared to support virtual celebrations, resident/patient viewing of drive- by parades, displays of community artwork and similar demonstrations of love and seasonal cheer.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

RHC Leadership