Welcome to Fairhaven

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – January 26, 2022

The last COVID positive Resident at Fairhaven has had their case resolved but our Home is still deemed to be in outbreak.  Peterborough Public Health (PPH) also bases their decisions, to declare outbreaks over, on the number of days since the onset of any staff cases, regardless of whether there is evidence of transmission within our Home.  We do not have an estimate of when this will be; hopefully, the determination will come within the next week.  The transmissibility of Omicron has led to far more staff cases in long term care homes across the province than at any other point in the pandemic; it is concerning that any staff cases, even if they have not had contact with Residents or other staff, can prolong the outbreak.

Essential caregivers are now able to provide support on all home areas.

Any home can experience an outbreak, and sometimes they start without the involvement of a Resident or a staff member.  The true key to the success of a response to COVID is how well staff can detect the virus, isolate/control it, and then eventually end the outbreak.  Fairhaven has had two outbreaks that have involved more than one Resident.  In both cases, the virus has been contained to one Resident Home Area.  This is truly an incredible achievement, especially given the high transmissibility of Omicron.  Pride is not a strong enough word for how I feel about all our employees, what they have accomplished, the sacrifices they have made (and continue to make), and their dedication to keeping our Residents safe.

It is worth reviewing some of the policies in place for Resident leaves and visiting:

Visiting (General Visitors, Essential Caregivers, Support Workers, Volunteers, etc):

  1. All visitors to Fairhaven, including essential caregivers, will be rapid tested each time they visit and will be required to receive a negative test result before they exit the Great Room.
  1. General visits remain paused, unless they are visiting a resident receiving end of life care. In this case, full PPE (gown, face shield and surgical mask) must be worn and not taken off at any point during the visit
  1. Infants under 1 year of age are not considered visitors and may enter the home without being subject to surveillance testing.
  1. As children under 5 years old are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they will be unable to come into a home at this time.  There are no medical exemptions allowable for this rule.  When general visits resume, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will determine ongoing requirements for visiting.
  1. Rapid Antigen testing is required for all indoor AND outdoor visitors; NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS CAN BE ALLOWED, REGARDLESS OF TIME CONTRAINTS ON A VISITOR
  1. Outdoor visits with individuals in a car, without visitors being screening and rapid tested, is not allowed.
  1. All staff, students, volunteers, and caregivers must be tested each day that they enter Fairhaven.
  1. All support workers must be tested each time they attend at a home, regardless of the fact that they must be vaccinated.
  1. Third “booster” doses are mandatory for all staff, students, volunteers, caregivers and support workers
  1. General visitors will also be required to provide proof of a booster dose once the temporary pause on general visitors is lifted.
  1. Essential caregivers are required to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to gain entry to the home, and must have all required doses by February 21st; caregivers not fully vaccinated are restricted to resident rooms
  1. Staff, students, volunteers, support workers and caregivers:
    1. Those who are eligible on or before December 31st will have until January 28, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose
    2. The remainder of eligible staff, students, volunteers, and support workers will have until March 14, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose
    3. The remainder of caregivers will have until May 23, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose.
    4. General visitors are currently paused and the Ministry will be working with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to determine ongoing requirements, including for children, prior to the pause concluding.
  1. A maximum of 2 caregivers can be designated by a resident and any newly designated caregivers must be fully vaccinated to enter the home.
  1. A maximum of 2 people (caregivers and visitors) per resident at a time for indoor visits, and 4 people (caregivers and visitors) per resident at a time for outdoor visits.  Again, visitors cannot remain in cars to avoid being tested and, if they do so, they will be asked to leave Fairhaven grounds.

Restrictions on Resident Leaves:

  1. Once our outbreak is declared over by Peterborough Public Health, Residents who are fully vaccinated may leave the home for day absences and must be reminded of public health safety measures to follow when they are outside of the home.
  1. Residents who are not fully vaccinated may not leave the home for social/day absences.
  1. Social overnight absences remain suspended at this time due to the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
  1. All residents may continue to leave the home for essential medical absences.  Fairhaven reserves the right to ensure the safety of Residents by asking for proof of essential medical appointments/absences

Requirements upon return/admission/transfer to home:

Day absences

  1. Residents will be actively screened upon return;
  1. With respect to day absences for fully vaccinated Residents, after our outbreak is officially ended by Peterborough Public Health, they will be rapid tested upon their return, and will receive a rapid test and PCR test on day 3.  Until a negative rapid test result is received, the returned Resident will be isolated
  1. If there is a known exposure to a case, there will be a PCR test on day 1 and at day 7 as well as the need to isolate until a negative result is confirmed from day 7.

Proper masking review:

Visitors, caregivers, support workers, essential workers, etc., who are noticed to be not wearing their masks properly, will be asked to correct their practice.  If the mask continues to be misused, staff will need to report this to management who may need to ask the person involved to leave our facility.

Universal Masking in effect

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – January 20, 2022

As of this morning, our level of active staff cases remains at ten and our number of active Resident cases is six.  Positive Resident cases continue to be contained to the Riverside 4 Home Area.  Over the next three days, several Residents and staff are expected to have their positive case status resolved and be taken of the COVID line list.

As we are all aware, this variant of concern is extremely transmissible, and our main goal is to control its spread within the Resident population.  Thank you, once again, to everyone for their support and kind words regarding efforts by our staff.

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – January 11, 2022

As of this morning, our active staff cases have decreased to ten while seven Residents currently have COVID.  While it is an enormous struggle against such a transmissible variant, the virus continues to be contained to the Riverside 4 Home Area.  Thank you to everyone for their support and kind words regarding efforts by our staff.

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – January 5, 2022

Fairhaven’s outbreak surveillance testing has confirmed a positive test for one Resident on Westview 4.  Their family has been called and they have been moved into our isolation area.  The current number of staff, who are COVID positive and isolating at home, has decreased to thirteen.  As part of our outbreak protocols, we are testing all staff daily, and all caregivers daily as well.  While we do not have the ability to determine how many visitors have tested positive, our screeners have done an extraordinary job in testing, and several COVID positive caregivers have been sent home to isolate.

As we have throughout the pandemic, we will work closely with Peterborough Public Health and the Ministry of Long Term Care to manage our outbreak and contain the spread of the virus.  Enhanced cleaning routines are in place and any staff who are symptomatic, have tested positive, or are determined to be a close contact requiring isolation, will remain at home until they are cleared to return to work.  All staff are assigned to work in cohorts which reduces the risk of transmission to other areas of Fairhaven. 

Today, all Residents were PCR tested once again; we will continue to keep staff and Resident contacts informed of new information as it is received.

The link below leads to a great deal of information on long term care outbreaks in Ontario.  It can take 2-3 days for details to be updated from local health units.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-ontario-is-responding-covid-19#section-1

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – January 4, 2022

There have been a large number of announcements recently, from Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Long Term Care and the Province, regarding COVID safety measures relating to long term care.  I’ve summarized the major components of the communications below:

  1. Fourth doses of mRNA vaccines will be made available to residents of long-term care homes and can be administered if it has been at least three months, or 84 days, since the Resident’s third dose
  1. Third doses are mandatory for all staff, students, volunteers, caregivers and support workers
  1. General visitors will also be required to provide proof of a booster dose once the temporary pause on general visitors is lifted.
  1. Essential caregivers are required to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to gain entry to the home, and must have all required doses by February 21st; caregivers not fully vaccinated are restricted to resident rooms
  1. Staff, students, volunteers, support workers and caregivers:
    1. Those who are eligible on or before December 31st will have until January 28, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose
    2. The remainder of eligible staff, students, volunteers, and support workers will have until March 14, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose
    3. The remainder of caregivers will have until May 23, 2022 to show proof of their booster dose.
    4. General visitors are currently paused and the Ministry will be working with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to determine ongoing requirements, including for children, prior to the pause concluding.

I will send out an outbreak update to everyone this week as well.

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – December, 31, 2021

The number of local cases reported by Peterborough Public Health (PPH) continues to hit record highs each day and the latest test positivity rates for Ontario are now well over 30%.  With such a high level of COVID detected in swabs, it is most likely that our number of positive cases is understated as we have no way of determining the number of family members and caregivers who have contracted the virus.  As of today (December 31st), there are 14 active staff cases (approximately 4% of our total number of employees).  After home-wide testing, there remains no confirmed or suspected Resident cases.  This is a very important piece of information, as long term care homes are required to confirm all positive rapid tests (results not automatically forwarded to PPH), with follow up PCR tests (results are forwarded to PPH).  This requirement should lead to a reasonably large number of staff cases in all facilities, given the prevalence of the virus, and its transmissibility, in the community. 

I am extremely proud of the efforts put forth by our staff to keep COVID from infecting our Residents to this point in the outbreak.  The previous phases of the pandemic had far lower case numbers, and controlling Resident infections has been a herculean task for Fairhaven staff, and they have done an incredible job over the past 20 months.  They deserve our thanks, admiration, and respect/awe.

We have not been provided with any information as to whether these cases resulted from exposure to the Omicron variant of concern.

For now, our rules regarding essential caregiver (EC) visits will remain as the status quo:  one EC visit allow per day with a second EC being allowed to attend Fairhaven if the first EC cannot.  Please be aware that PPH can direct our Home to not receive visitors of any classification (including essential caregivers), depending on test results during the outbreak.  This determination would be based on local conditions (the amount of COVID cases in the community, which includes our home’s visitors), and the number of staff and/or Resident cases.

I am continuing to strongly suggest that every essential caregiver limit the times that they enter our facility to as little as possible.  It is clear that a very large percentage of people in our province have been exposed to COVID recently and many will not be aware of their contact until after they become infectious.  If you have any respiratory symptoms, do not assume you have a cold; assume that you have COVID.  Get tested and isolate.

As we have in the past, we will keep you all informed of any developments, through email and postings to our website.  

Fairhaven COVID-19 Family Communication – December, 28 2021 (Outbreak Declared at Fairhaven)

It is certainly well publicized that the COVID virus is currently sweeping through our area.  The number of local cases is far higher than at any other point in the pandemic and our test positivity rate in the Peterborough region has been close to twenty percent.  Our health unit has declared Fairhaven to be in a home wide outbreak.  While we do not have access to the number of positive cases for family members and caregivers,  we have five confirmed staff cases and several other suspected positive staff results, based on rapid tests.  There are no confirmed or suspected Resident cases.  We have not been provided with any information as to whether these cases resulted from exposure to the Omicron variant of concern.

Outbreak testing protocols will be started after further consultation with Peterborough Public Health (PPH).  Residents will be PCR tested immediately and subsequent testing schedules will depend on the results of the first round of testing.  Staff members will be PCR tested at least twice per week.  If you do not want your loved on to be PCR tested, please notify lori.rowsell@fairhavenltc.com as soon as possible.

For now, our rules regarding essential caregiver (EC) visits will remain as the status quo:  one EC visit allow per day with a second EC being allowed to attend Fairhaven if the first EC cannot.  Please be aware that PPH can direct our Home to receive no visitors of any classification (including essential caregivers) for the duration of this outbreak, depending on the results of the first round of Resident tests.  In outbreak situations, PPH can make this determination based on local conditions (the amount of COVID cases in the community, which includes our home’s visitors), and the number of staff and/or Resident cases.

Staff will, once again, be cohorted by floor and Residents will remain on their home areas as well.  Residents who are not symptomatic will continue to have meals in the dining room.

Hairdressing services will be suspended but footcare is considered to be an essential health service and will continue to be provided on one home area each day.

While we had all hoped that our outbreak earlier this year would be our last, particularly when 100% of our staff are fully vaccinated, once again will be taking immediate action to keep our Residents safe.  I am strongly suggesting that everyone limit the times that you enter our facility to as little as possible.  It is clear that a very large percentage of people in our province have been exposed to COVID recently and many will not be aware of their contact until after they become infectious.

As we have in the past, we will keep you all informed of any developments, through email and postings to our website.