December 29, 2021 COVID-19 Update29 December 2021
December 29, 2021
Due to the rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community currently, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all general visiting, effective immediately. If you have a general visiting appointment scheduled, it will be canceled. We will do our best to reach you to cancel it in advance, but please be aware no general visitors will be permitted to visit until further notice.
There is no change to attendance and participation in care by Essential Care Partners on our hospital units, Designated Family Caregivers on our Personal Care Home units, or End of Life visiting at this time, except that proof of vaccination will now also be requested of all visitors, including those visiting at end of life. For End of Life visitors who are not fully vaccinated, extra safety measures will be put in place to protect you, your loved ones, and our staff. At the end of this section of the update, you will find a recap of definitions and restrictions currently in place.
We continue to have an RSV outbreak on CD4 on our Personal Care Home side. Because we continue to have new cases of symptomatic residents, with another new resident confirmed positive on December 25, 2021, Designated Family Caregiver visits continue to be on hold through Wednesday, January 10, 2022, at minimum, on this unit. This is in an effort to prevent further spread of this highly contagious respiratory virus, which poses a significant health threat in the elderly.
We recognize how disappointing and distressing visiting restrictions are for our patients, residents, and their families. We are doing our best to manage the spread both of these viruses so we can reunite our patients and residents with their loved ones as soon as possible. We, too, wish it did not have to be like this, and look forward to the time when we can once again welcome all our visitors back to the Centre. We appreciate your support and understanding at this difficult time.
Definitions & Current Restrictions in Place at Riverview Health Centre:
Fully Vaccinated person: Individuals are considered fully vaccinated (immunized) if they have received both doses (any combination) of an approved two dose COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna), OR a single dose of an approved single dose COVID-19 vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) with more than 14 days having passed since the second dose (or approved sole dose) was received. Getting the third dose (“booster shot”), when eligible, is highly recommended.
Essential Care Partners (ECPs) (hospital units)/Designated Family Caregivers (DFCs)(Personal Care Home units): Each fully vaccinated patient or resident or their substitute decision-maker may select up to two (2) people who may visit with the patient/resident in their room during our current visiting hours daily (10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.). As essential partners in care, these individuals actively and regularly participate in providing care and may support feeding, mobility, personal hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication, meaningful connection, relational continuity, and assistance in decision-making, among other supportive activities. Proof of full vaccination is required for ECPs and DFCs to visit in the patient/resident room. If either the patient/resident or the ECP/DFC is not fully vaccinated, safe ways to allow visiting will be explored and supported whenever possible. Assuming all parties are fully vaccinated, both ECPs/DFCs may visit at the same time, if desired.
End of Life Visitors: When the health care team providing care for a particular patient or resident feels end of life is or may be within approximately four (4) weeks for that patient/resident (and all Palliative Care unit – 3E patients), up to an additional two (2) ECPs or DFCs (see above) may be selected by the patient/resident or substitute decision-maker to visit the person in their room. This means a patient/resident nearing end of life may have up to four (4) designated visitors. End of Life visitation is allowed 24 hours per day, seven (7) days per week. Two (2) End of Life Visitors may visit at one time, assuming all parties are fully vaccinated. *NEW* End of Life Visitors, effective today, will now be asked to present proof of full vaccination prior to each visit. If the visitor is not fully vaccinated, additional safety measures will be put in place to support safer visiting.
General Visitors: These are other friends, acquaintances and relatives of our patients/residents who visit for social reasons. Effective today, all general (social) visitation is suspended until further notice.
COVID-19 Cases at RHC
We have been made aware that, over the holiday long weekend, an additional five (5) staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total number of currently known affected staff members to seven (7).
Public Health, Occupational Health, and Infection Prevention and Control are working together to investigate these cases, and follow up on any identified close contacts. At this time, there is no evidence of any exposure in the workplace and therefore we anticipate the risk is low. There is no evidence so far that any of these cases are linked to each other, and it appears that all were acquired outside of the workplace.
Staff will perform symptom and temperature checks twice each day for any potentially affected Patients/Residents, and anyone with symptoms will be placed on isolation precautions and tested. All Health Care Workers are required to self-screen for any symptoms prior to attending work, and may not attend if they do have any COVID-19 symptoms.
At this time we will not be suspending essential care partner/designated family caregiver visitation, and our patients are not required to isolate in their rooms. We will continue to actively screen essential care partners/designated family caregivers upon arrival, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as per current practice.
We appreciate this is unsettling news for our Patients, Families and Staff of Riverview Health Centre. Please be assured that we have moved quickly to investigate this situation. The health of our patients, residents and employees is our top priority.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding.