COVID-19 – Sunnyside’s Precautions as of March 16, 2020
As you all are aware, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) recently declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This evolving situation is affecting all of health care, our residents and our communities in rapidly changing ways. The health and well-being of our residents and staff is paramount and will guide us as we collectively respond to the developing COVID-19 outbreak.
To date, no cases of the corona virus have been reported in Saskatchewan long term care homes. However, it is still important that a very high proportion of our population is performing precautionary behaviours consistently. With a very high proportion of the population consistently implementing behaviours that reduce transmissibility, pandemics can be limited.
Today, The Chief Medical Health Officer orders that visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes and group homes are restricted to essential visitors only. Essential visitors means immediate family visiting for compassionate reasons only.
To stay in touch with your loved one at Sunnyside please consider these options: call them if they have a phone in their room, if they don’t have a phone call Sunnyside at 306-653-1267 ext 124 and we have wireless phones to take to them, send us emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will print and deliver your email and read them to your loved one if necessary and lastly we are in the process of setting up Facebook messenger which will allow you to communicate face to face electronically. We will send out details on how to do this within 24 hours.
The leadership team of Sunnyside is meeting regularly and in constant contact with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to assess our response and proactively manage the impact of COVID-19 as it evolves. We have instituted a number of internal measures to ensure that we remain able to consistently care for our residents. We will continue to closely monitor relevant WHO, Public Health Agency of Canada, and local governmental/health institutions, for guidance on travel, staff exposure, premises and event management, and preventative measures to ensure our plans and response aligns with the latest recommendations and best practices.
As part of our initial response plan, we have:
– Implemented the familiar precautions that we all need to do consistently such as; washing hands frequently and properly; covering your mouth (with your arm) when coughing or sneezing; avoiding contact with those who are already infected; avoiding touching your face;
– Staff will disinfect their mobile device using antibacterial wipes at the beginning and end of each shift.
– Any resident that becomes ill for any reason will be isolated. Swabs will be taken and sent to the lab for testing.
– Any staff member that become ill, has a cough, difficulty breathing or has a fever will be asked to stay home and away from public places. Sunnyside has a generous sick time policy that will compensate our staff for sick time.
– Any staff member who is currently out of the country will be asked to stay home for two weeks and will be compensated by Sunnyside. Staff who have travelled within Canada will be asked to self-monitor for two weeks by taking their temperature twice a day and watch for a cough developing or any difficulty with breathing.
– We have hired additional care staff for summer vacation coverage now instead of in May.
– We won’t have any potlucks or sharing of food from home or restaurants.
– Care Conferences with families will be done by teleconference calls.
– We are doing additional cleaning for high touch places like door knobs, hallway rails, etc.
– As we are able to acquire additional supplies like gloves, Isagel, soap, disinfectants, food, etc we will slowly add to our inventories.
– All staff are helping our residents maintain proper hand hygiene. At this time our recreation room, dinging room, physio room, etc remain open at Sunnyside.
– All office staff are to wipe off their keyboards, phones and desks daily with disinfectant wipes.
– All external parties planning to meeting at Sunnyside have been cancelled including groups for Recreation.
– We will not do any resident outings.
– We have a UV light and are using it nightly to disinfect washrooms, staff room, dining room, etc.
– We are getting a new time clock that is touchless, it will use facial recognition.
This memo will be posted on Sunnyside’s webpage, Facebook page, emailed to families contacts that we have email addresses for and mailed via Canada post for any families we don’t have email. Family contact members should pass this message along to all their other family members.
Let’s all do our part implementing precautionary behaviours with high consistency now and over the long-term. As a side benefit we will be preventing other infectious illnesses from spreading, including seasonal influenza.
Sunnyside will continue to send you updates as soon as information becomes available. Please also use the Saskatchewan Government Website: www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19 to keep updated.
If you have any questions please call me at 306-653-1267 ext 123 or email at email@example.com.