Personal Care Home (PCH) On-site Indoor Visitation during Very Low Levels of COVID-1923 June 2020
Dear Resident Families: Personal Care Home (PCH) On-site Indoor Visitation during Very Low Levels of COVID-19
Across Canada, the risk that COVID-19 poses to the residents of personal care homes (PCHs) is clear. Efforts to prevent, quickly identify and contain “outbreaks” of COVID-19 continue to be vital to protecting populations that are most vulnerable to serious illness or death from this virus. We know that family and friends are integral to the overall health, well-being and quality of life of residents within PCHs. Balancing necessary preventative measures with maintaining the vital connections that residents have with family members and support systems has been at the heart of every stage of our response. However, while preventing the spread of this virus within our facilities remains a central priority, the likelihood that COVID-19 will be a part of our ‘new normal’ for a longer duration requires us to find a longer-term balance between preventative measures and the many benefits of ongoing interaction between residents and their loved ones.
At the beginning of June, in accordance with Provincial Public Health direction, Riverview Health Centre (RHC) Personal Care Home implemented outdoor visiting for our residents, in addition to continuing to facilitate telephone conversations, “virtual visits” by FaceTime or Skype, or solarium window visits. Although we wish we could support more frequent in-person visits for our residents and their loved ones, these outdoor visits have been going very well. Unfortunately, some visits have had to be canceled for safety reasons, due to extreme heat or lightning.
Therefore, to prevent cancellations due to weather-related safety concerns, we are pleased to advise that while levels of COVID-19 remain very low we will now be supporting limited on-site, indoor visits at Riverview Health Centre Personal Care Home when outdoor visits would otherwise have had to have been cancelled. To be clear, outdoor visits are the preferred and safer option for our residents to visit with their loved ones. The same requirements as outdoor visits remain in place, with one addition, as outlined by Manitoba Public Health guidelines:
– Designated visitors may be identified to visit, with visitors recommended to be limited to one (1) per 24-hour period. At RHC, we are able to allow two visitors to visit at a time, as physical distancing can be maintained;
– Visits are by appointment, in a location determined by the PCH. At RHC, that location will either be in our outdoor visiting tent, when weather allows, or inside our Thomas Sill Auditorium when weather is unsafe;
– No visitation with other residents is allowed; – Visitors will be screened before entry, including assessment for symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 prior to entry. No visitor shall be permitted if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms; – Restrictions apply to visitors who have travelled outside of Manitoba within the past 14 days (excluding travel to Western Canada, the Territories and Ontario west of Terrace Bay);
– Visitors are required to sign in and out of each visit (this is for Public Health contact tracing purposes, should that become necessary); – Additional requirement for indoor visits: Visitors must bring and properly wear a clean, non-medical mask for the duration of the visit. Please view this short (1 minute 24 seconds) Health Canada video for tips on how to properly use non-medical masks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFV0h4h3HzY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3sq78N9BJztRubWveFkfBSXyNtJgPmnLPHGCZyFLxgeQyLbZyzlBqR4uA
– The use of non-medical masks remains recommended, but not required, for outdoor visits;
– Visitors will be escorted to the designated visit location and asked to perform proper hand hygiene and to minimize contact with surfaces (e.g. escorting staff member will open doors, etc.). The table and chairs used for visiting will be cleaned between each visit;
– All visitors must comply with Infection Prevention and Control measures. This includes strict hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing (6 feet/2 meters apart) at all times. – Visits may be suspended if designated visitors do not comply with these measures;
– Off-property visits are still not permitted given the risk to residents and to the facility associated with unknown nature of contacts, potential exposure and other required safety measures.
– Indoor, on unit/in resident rooms visiting remains suspended. Exceptions will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis as per existing guidance (e.g. end of life reasons).
Protecting the health and well-being of your loved ones and staff remains a top priority. Regular assessment by public health officials of the impact and evaluation of the need for adjusted visitor restrictions will continue as developments evolve. In collaboration with Public Health, PCH Operators will determine the need to suspend all visits in the case of a confirmed/potential COVID-19 outbreak in the facility or local area or upon the direction of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.
To coordinate your visit, please call 204-478-6208. Please review the “Personal Care Home On-Site Visitation Guidelines: What You Need to Know” document below. Once again, thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff.
RHC Leadership Team
Personal Care Home On-Site Visitation Guideline What you Need to Know:
– Authorized visitors should be designated by the resident and family based on the principle of limiting visitors to close family and/or friends who have a clearly established pattern of involvement in providing care and support to the resident.
– All visits must be pre-booked, at minimum two days prior to the scheduled visit. To comply with physical distancing measures, sites may need to restrict the number of visits per time slot in the visiting area.
– Visits for our general PCH Residents will be booked for a maximum of 30 minutes between the hours of 1:00 -7:00 pm Monday-Friday and 1:00 – 5:00 pm Saturday, Sunday and holidays (Canada Day: July 1, Terry Fox Day: August 3, Labour Day: September 7, etc.).
– For visits with our Special Needs Unit Residents, specific visitation hours and procedures will be discussed with you prior to the visit.
– A maximum of two essential visitors per Resident will be permitted at a time. – A minor must be accompanied by an adult.
– Pets are not permitted.
– Screening of all visitors will occur, including assessment for symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 prior to the visit. Restrictions will apply to visitors who have travelled outside of Manitoba within the past 14 days, excluding Western Canada, the Territories, and Ontario west of Terrace Bay. No visitor shall be permitted if they have any cold/flu or other COVID-19 symptoms.
– All visitors must comply with Infection Prevention and Control measures. This includes strict hand hygiene and maintaining physical distancing (6 feet/2 meters apart) at all times.
– Proper wearing of a clean non-medical mask is required for indoor visits. Wearing of a non-medical mask during outdoor visits is not required, but is encouraged.
– Based on evaluation of risk as well as operational clinical judgement, the site may be unable to facilitate outdoor visits for certain residents. The care team will review other options in these cases.
– The site reserves the right to cancel visits due to situations outside of our control. Update on Deliveries for Patients/Residents:
We are pleased to report that we are now able to accept limited food/flower/plant deliveries for patients/residents, with the following requirements:
· Any food/flowers/plants delivered for patients or residents must be strictly for that individual patient/resident only. Such items may not be shared with any other patients/residents/staff (and we are not able to accept communal gifts such as food or flowers for staff to share, although we appreciate the generous intention behind that)
· Please maintain physical distancing when dropping items off – that is, you will be directed by staff where to place the items to avoid being within 6 feet/2 metres of staff
· Items for delivery to a patient’s/resident’s room will be collected and delivered as quickly as possible, but when staff are available to do so. Therefore, please do not deliver perishable items, as delivery may not be able to be the same day, depending on volume of deliveries
· Essential personal items continue to be accepted (e.g. toothpaste, tissues, lotion, etc.). Please ensure they are clean and appropriately packaged/bagged (e.g. dentures in a denture container within the plastic bag).