RE: COVID-19 – Update from Sunnyside

Dear Family & Friends of Sunnyside;

We continue to be well at Sunnyside with no sick residents or staff.  We are being very vigilant and have tested a few residents for covid-19 because they showed influenza like symptoms but all have come back negative.

There is a lot of excitement regarding Phase 1 of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan which began yesterday.  It allows public access to previously restricted medical services and provides specific guidelines related to parks and campgrounds, boat launches, fishing and golf courses.

A Public Health Order (https://www.saskatchewan.ca/-/media/files/coronavirus/public-health-measures/public-health-orders/order-may-3-2020-re-open-sk.pdf) is in place for Phase 1 of the plan.

I remind all Saskatchewan residents to remember that measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 must continue:

  • Public and private gatherings are still limited to no more than 10 people.
  • Continue physical distancing of two metres.
  • People planning to form an extended household group with one or two families and friends should exercise extreme caution.  The limit of 10 on gathering sizes still applies.
  • Businesses that are not a critical public service or an allowable business listed on www.saskatchewan.ca remain closed.

I include this reminder because it is so important for everyone to keep their awareness up.  I am frequently asked when I expect long term care homes to open.  At this point I can’t predict when our care homes will open, however, if you look at the re-open Saskatchewan plan, you will see that it does not talk about the opening of hospitals or care homes.  A lot will depend on how the public commits to the measures to help stop the spread.  While the public restrictions are slowly being lifted, the care homes in Saskatchewan continue to add more and more steps to protect our residents and staff.

The clinical characteristics of covid-19 are still being understood and new evidence emerges frequently.  For example, we now screen our residents and staff for any new or worsening respiratory symptoms i.e. cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, sore throat or difficulty swallowing and for any new onset of atypical symptoms including chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, malaise, fatigue, loss of sense of smell, loss of sense of taste, or headache.

Last week we successfully stopped sharing 50 staff with 20 different health facilities.  The staff were divided up in the fairest way possible which worked out well in most cases.  This was fully implemented as required on April 28.  All staff in the Health Authority are guaranteed that they will get their positions back when the pandemic is over.

We remain fully staffed after we stopped sharing staff.  In fact, we have more staff available to us.  Our Recreation student started on May 4 so we will have more Recreation staff for the next four months.  Our Grounds Keeping student started on May 1 which will beautify our grounds for our residents to enjoy.  We have also hired several nursing students to work as Care Aides during the summer vacation season.

Some of the other steps being taken to protect our residents are difficult but necessary to help stop the spread of Covid-19.  These include:

  • We cannot take home made food or restaurant food deliveries inside for our residents.
  • We cannot take flowers or gift baskets. This is tough one with mother’s day just around the corner.  You can mail or email us cards for your resident.  If there is a special treat your resident would like, let us know what it is and we will try to get it for them through our suppliers.  We will have an extra Recreation staff member working on Mother’s day to help with video conferencing.
  • We cannot open windows for you to talk to your loved one. At the present time you can come to the window to see your resident and talk via the phone.  The Health Authority is reviewing window gatherings and may announce further policies.

Our nurses continue to have 24/ 7access to a physician via phone and we are in the process of setting up video conferencing with our doctors.  Our house Dr. Stewart has weekly teleconferences with Corrie our Resident Care Coordinator to discuss any health concerns of our residents.

With the arrival of spring and warmer weather our residents are happy to go outside and enjoy our courtyard.  We will soon be planting flowers and gardening with our residents in our courtyard.  If you have any outdoor annuals or perennials that you would like to donate let me know.

You may have already seen in our newsletter or website that the wheel chair accessible swing that we were funding raising for during the winter has arrived and is setup in our court yard for residents to enjoy.  We look forward to the day when you can come and enjoy a swing with your resident.

We are planning to get a few baby chicks like we had last spring for our residents to enjoy.  The chicks will move to our chicken coop in the courtyard when they get big enough.

Staying in touch with your loved ones at Sunnyside is very important.  Many of you have been connecting electronically for face to face conversations.  Call our Recreation team at 306-653-1267 ext. 140 to make an appointment to have face to face time with your loved one.  If you get their voice mail, leave a message and they will call you back as our Recreation team spends most of their time out with residents.

You can also connect by phone, just call our nursing desk at 306-653-1267 ext 124 and they will connect you to your resident.  You can also send us emails to deliver and read to your resident.  Emails can be sent to me at randy.kurtz@saskhealthauthority.ca.

Some family members are coming to our front window to see their loved one.  You can call our Rec team at 306-653-1267 ext 140 to let them know when you are coming and they will bring your loved one to the front window.  You can talk via telephone.

Please share this info with all your other family members or let them know they can keep updated with things at Sunnyside on our web page (www.sunnysidecare.ca) and our Facebook page (Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre).

Also keep updated via Saskatchewan’s website at:  www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19.

As I mentioned, it is going to be some time before long term care homes can re-open.  We appreciate your support, patience and prayers and miss having you with us every day.

If there is anything else we can do for your loved one or for you, please let us know.  I am available at 306-653-1267 ext 123 or randy.kurtz@saskhealthauthority.ca.  Our nursing staff are available 24 * 7 at ext 124.  All other departments are listed on our phone system when you call.

 

Take care,

Randy Kurtz

Administrator