EFFECTIVE APRIL 8, 2020
Update Summary: The following Memorandum is an update to the Memorandum issued last week on April 2, 2020. Please note paragraph 1. below which has been updated to unequivocally confirm the absolute necessity for residents to self isolate in their suites at all times. It is imperative that this requirement be followed without exception to ensure the safety of all residents. Also, it is imperative that contact between staff and residents should only occur as and when required and with all safety protocols and procedures in full force and effect. Finally, we are pleased to advise that April Allen has re joined our team at St. Jacobs Place Limited (“ SJP ”) as an Emergency Support Manager reporting to the General Manager. In her newly created role, April will assist management, staff and residents with all aspects of St. Jacob’s Place Retirement Residence (the “ Residence ”) response to the corona virus crisis. April’s experience will be invaluable as we all work together through this health crisis.
These measures and bringing April back on board are being put in place for the purpose of protecting residents, many of whom are high risk candidates for the more severe symptoms of the coronavirus. It is not an indication that those present at the Residence are especially likely to contract the coronavirus. In fact, due to the implementation of these measures, SJP staff and residents have a significantly reduced chance of becoming infected.
As you already know, on March 30, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Dr. David C. Williams, (the “CMOH”) issued a Directive* mandating that SJP as the licensed operator of the Residence must take all reasonable steps to comply with the following protocols:
- it is imperative that residents remain in their suites at all times pending further direction from the CMOH (with exceptions for medical reasons only). To take account of this, our food service will continue to be adapted as follows. All meals will be served at the customary times by the delivery of meal trays directly to a designated location immediately outside each resident’s suite door.At no time shall a staff member enter a resident’s suite to deliver a meal (exceptions will be made for medical reasons with the prior approval of the General Manager).We appreciate and understand that it is a lonely and isolating time for many residents, but SJP has a moral and legal duty to comply with the CMOH’s directions to ensure that the Residence is, and continues to be, the safest place to live and work in Canada. Therefore, all residents must continue to self-isolate in their suites and have no contact with other residents, and have contact with staff members only in accordance with all required safety protocols and procedures;
- as advised last week, any resident who leaves the Residence will not be allowed to re-enter until the state of emergency declared in the Province of Ontario is lifted. Admissions of new or returning residents have been put on hold until further notice. This means that if a family member chooses to take their resident-relative out for any reason, e.g. a walk or a drive, that resident will have to reside in the household of that relative or other family member until the state of emergency has been lifted. Exceptions to this prohibition will be made for the purpose of attending medical appointments only;
- likewise, the Residence remains in closed to visitors, except for essential visitors (being staff, those providing essential support services or persons visiting a very ill or palliative residents) for the duration of this provincial state of emergency. Restrictions will apply to persons visiting very ill or palliative residents, including a requirement to submit to screening for the coronavirus and to avoid interaction with other residents. These restrictions will be discussed with those concerned on a case-by-case basis;
- all persons entering or leaving the Residence, except emergency first responders, will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus (screening includes checking for fever, elevated temperature, cough, difficulty breathing and other mild respiratory symptoms) – deliveries will be made to the kitchen delivery door only and all delivery personnel entering the Residence must be symptom-screened;
- all staff and residents of the Residence will be actively screened for the coronavirus at least twice daily, once at the beginning and once at the end of each day. As stated above, this active screening is for the purpose of protecting residents, many of whom are high risk candidates for the more severe symptoms of the coronavirus. It is not an indication that those present at the Residence are especially likely to contract the coronavirus. In fact, due to the implementation of these measures, SJP staff and residents have a significantly reduced chance of becoming infected.The front entry door will be the only entrance by which SJP’s staff may enter and exit the Residence until further notice;
- residents exhibiting symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of the coronavirus will undergo testing for the coronavirus (swab of the back of the nose and throat sent for laboratory testing). Staff exhibiting symptoms will be directed to return home and self-isolate in accordance with applicable guidance from the CMOH and other public health bodies. Any other person exhibiting symptoms will not be
permitted to enter the Residence;
- personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, gowns, face-shields) will be provided for staff and support workers interacting with any person exhibiting symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Staff will not be expected to interact with infected persons unless they have been provided with equipment sufficient to prevent infection – SJP has a legal obligation to protect your health which it fully intends on meeting at all times;
- precautionary staff and resident cohorting will be implemented at the discretion of SJP, meaning that certain staff members may be allocated to work solely with unwell residents and residents may be relocated within the Residence to ensure minimal spread of infection. Please note that the risk of infection is minimal for staff (due to the availability of appropriate personal protective equipment), the purpose of these measures is to prevent the spread of infection amongst residents should the coronavirus or other disease enter the Residence;
- frequently-touched surfaces will be subject to increased sanitization;
- in the event of an outbreak or suspecting outbreak of the coronavirus, outbreak control measures will be implemented (including discontinuance of all non-essential activities, further restrictions on those entering and leaving the Residence, and use of personal protective equipment by all staff) and the health authorities will be notified; and
- all deliveries of goods or items to residents from family or friends must be approved in advance by the General Manager. To avoid the introduction of the coronavirus into the Residence, such preapproved deliveries will be quarantined on arrival at the Residence at a designated storage location for a period of 3 days before final delivery to the recipient-resident. On receipt, quarantined goods
and items will be handled by approved staff only and such approved staff will use gloves when moving goods and items into the designated temporary storage location. At the conclusion of the 3-day period, the quarantined goods and items will be delivered to the recipient-resident by delivery to the designated location immediately outside their suite door. Staff shall not access a resident’s suite when delivering the goods and items unless such access is first approved by the General Manager.
In addition to these officially-mandated protocols, all staff and residents are asked to be regularly self monitoring for symptoms of the coronavirus (including fever, cough and difficulty breathing and, less commonly, chest pain, sore throat, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and chills) to ensure that we are and remain the healthiest and safest retirement home in Canada.
Thank you in advance for your compliance with these directives. If these protocols are observed, we are confident that not only will the Residence remain unaffected by the coronavirus but it will actually be the safest place for you to be during this time.
St. Jacobs Place Retirement Residence
April 8, 2020
*Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, S.O. 2007, c. 8, issued under section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.0. 1990, c. H.7 and applied to retirement homes pursuant to subsection 27(5) of Ontario Regulation 166/11 under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c. 11 as amended by Ontario Regulation 68/20 under that same Act. Full text available here: https://www.oha.com/Bulletins/CMOH%20Directive%203%20-%20Long-Term%20Care%20Homes.pdf.