COVID-19 UPDATES

Fairhaven Family Communication – July 26, 2022 – Outbreak Update

Fairhaven’s Covid outbreak was declared on July 14, 2022. Cases have been limited to our Riverside 4 home area only. The number of active Resident cases has decreased to six and the number of active staff cases has decreased to five.

Fairhaven’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and staffing levels are sufficient. Staff are cohorted and full PPE (including N95 masks), are being used.

One essential caregiver at a time will be allowed for each Resident on R4. Three visitors will be allowed for Residents, on this home area, that are deemed palliative. Any visitors that have loved ones on two different home areas will only be allowed to visit one home area each day.

Fairhaven Family Communication – July 18, 2022 – Outbreak Update

Fairhaven’s Covid outbreak was declared on July 14, 2022.   Cases have been limited to our Riverside 4 home area only.  The number of active Resident cases is eleven and the number of active staff cases is seven.

Fairhaven’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and staffing levels are sufficient.  Staff are cohorted and full PPE (including N95 masks), are being used. 

One essential caregiver at a time will be allowed for each Resident on R4.  Three visitors will be allowed for Residents, on this home area, that are deemed palliative.  Any visitors that have loved ones on two different home areas will only be allowed to visit one home area each day.

COVID-19 Outbreak Notes:

  • Outbreaks continue to occur at long term care homes and doubled in number last week.  Actual cases in the community are still at levels that are much higher than the first several waves’ numbers.  While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future due to the virus’ ability to mutate.
  • Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers, and confirm all of the cases required though PCR testing so that they are recognized by Peterborough Public Health.  Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not.  To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.
  • The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff (and Committee of Management), in the long term care sector. 
  • We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them. 
  • Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years.  Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Fairhaven Family Communication – July 15th, 2022 – Outbreak Update

There have been six Residents that have had positive quick tests for COVID today so our Riverside 4 (R4) Home Area has been declared to be in outbreak. We have begun the process of ensuring that staff are cohorted and that full PPE (including N95 masks), are being used.

One essential caregiver at a time will be allowed for each Resident on R4. Three visitors will be allowed for Residents, on this home area, that are deemed palliative. Any visitors that have loved ones on two different home areas will only be allowed to visit one home area each day.

Fairhaven Family Communication – May 22nd, 2022 – Adverse Weather Event and Outbreak Update

I’m sure that many of you are wondering about how the storm of Saturday (May 21st) affected Fairhaven. Our staff has done an incredible job of, once again, pulling together to make sure everyone is cared for, even when they are dealing with serious issues in their own homes. We had our generator fuel tank topped up Saturday evening, and it ran for as long as it needed to. We monitor fuel levels and ensure that our supplier tops up our tank periodically.

Westview 5 – The outbreak on WV5 has been declared over. One case was detected after that point, so that Resident will be isolated; hopefully, it does not spread, and we remain clear on that home area.

Riverside 2 – Peterborough Public Health has declared this outbreak to be over.

For the first time in over two years, the common cold (rhinovirus) has spread within Fairhaven. There are several cases on Riverside 4. Like we do during COVID outbreaks, we will be implementing interventions to prevent any potential spread of infection on R4.

Family COVID-19 Communication – May 16th, 2022

As of Monday, May 16th, there are six active Resident cases of COVID and 4 active cases of staff, down from 22 Resident cases and 11 staff cases a week ago. It is still too early to project an expected end date for the outbreak, but I will pass that information on when it becomes available.

Outbreak Notes:

  • Outbreaks will continue to occur at long-term care homes. Actual cases in the community are still at levels that dwarf the first several waves’ numbers. While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future due to the virus’s ability to mutate.
  • Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers and confirm all of the cases required through PCR testing so that Peterborough Public Health recognizes them. Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not. To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.
  • The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff (and Committee of Management), in the long-term care sector.
  • We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them.

Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years. Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Family COVID-19 Communication – May 10th, 2022

As of Monday, May 9th, there are twenty-two active Resident cases of COVID and Eleven active staff cases. There are several Residents that we expect to be leaving our Westview 5 Isolation Unit before the end of the week. The outbreak is still confined to one Home area.

Outbreak Notes:

• Outbreaks will continue to occur at long-term care homes. Actual cases in the community are still at levels that dwarf the first several waves’ numbers. While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future due to the virus’s ability to mutate.

• Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers, and confirm all of the cases required through PCR testing so that Peterborough Public Health recognizes them. Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not. To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.

• The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff (and Committee of Management), in the long-term care sector.
• We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them.

• Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years. Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Family COVID-19 Communication – May 2nd, 2022 Outbreak Declared

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) will be declaring an outbreak on our Westview 5 Resident Home Area (WV5) today.  Over the past four days, nine residents and 2 staff have been infected; all of these cases are on WV5.

During the outbreak, visiting will be limited to one Essential Caregiver at a time on the outbreak floor.  Visiting on all our Home Areas remains the same.  Leaves for residents on WV5 will need to be deferred until the outbreak is over, except for medical emergencies.

I will repeat some points made when our last outbreak ended:

  • Outbreaks will continue to occur at long-term care homes.  Actual cases in the community are still at levels that dwarf the first several waves’ numbers.  While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future due to the virus’s ability to mutate.
  • Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers, and confirm all of the cases required through PCR testing so that they are recognized by Peterborough Public Health.  Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not.  To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.
  • The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff (and Committee of Management), in the long-term care sector. 
  • We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them. 
  • Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years.  Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Family COVID-19 Communication – May 16 2022

As of Monday May 16th, there are six active Resident cases of COVID and 4 active cases of staff, down from 22 Resident cases and 11 staff cases a week ago. It is still too early to project an expected end date for the outbreak but I will pass that information on when it becomes available.

Outbreak Notes:

  • Outbreaks will continue to occur at long term care homes.  Actual cases in the community are still at levels that dwarf the first several waves’ numbers.  While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future due to the virus’ ability to mutate.
  • Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers, and confirm all of the cases required though PCR testing so that they are recognized by Peterborough Public Health.  Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not.  To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.
  • The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff (and Committee of Management), in the long term care sector. 
  • We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them. 
  • Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years.  Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Family COVID-19 Communication – March 30, 2022 Outbreak Over

Peterborough Public Health declared our outbreak, on the Riverside Special Care Home Area (RSSC), to be over this morning (Wednesday March 30th).  Our last COVID case was identified approximately 20 days ago.

Residents in RSSC may now come and go as per the Leave of Absence (LOA) process for the rest of the home.

There will be more outbreaks at Fairhaven.  Actual cases in the community are still at levels that dwarf the first several waves’ numbers.  While vaccinations have clearly reduced the severity of illnesses in most cases, the fact remains that a high level of infections will continue into the foreseeable future.  Fairhaven’s responsibility is to detect all cases in Residents, staff and caregivers, and confirm all of the cases required though PCR testing so that they are recognized by Peterborough Public Health.  Our Home is committed to transparency, and we can guarantee that any COVID cases will be registered, regardless of whether this results in an outbreak or not.  To do otherwise would understate community cases, put anyone entering Fairhaven at higher risk of infection, and would be contrary to Ministry of Long Term Care COVID guidelines.

The positive side of this infection prevention and control culture is that there is no more knowledgeable, dedicated, and committed staff and Committee of Management, in the long term care sector.  While some may feel that this is hyperbole from someone who is, themselves, part of the group, I know it to be true.  I am sure that this is due to both the innate qualities of our people, and the high standards that everyone sets for themselves and each other, including the administration team.  We will continue to recognize outbreaks as soon as they occur so that we may “get to work” in ending them.  Thank you for the many hundreds of emails of support from family members over the past two years.  Your continuous and undivided support has meant more than you could ever know to everyone at our Home.

Family COVID-19 Communication – March 22, 2022 No Resident Cases at Fairhaven

As of this morning (Tuesday, March 22nd), there are no Resident COVID cases at Fairhaven.  The earliest that Peterborough Public Health will declare the RSSC outbreak over will be March 30th.

Fairhaven will continue to recognize all symptoms exhibited by Residents, caregivers and staff, and test symptomatic individuals in accordance with Peterborough Public Health and Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines.  This may result in additional cases, that may have resolved on their own, but we feel it is important to be fully transparent and to acknowledge that any COVID cases have the potential to spread to others, and therefore have serious health consequences.

Pandemic Response Updates – Easing of Measures by Ministry of Long-Term Care

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Associate Deputy Minister – LTC Policy and Pandemic Response, released several documents related to their further easing of protective measures in long term care on Monday, March 14, 2022 .  I am including a “snapshot” of the changes put in place, providing by the Ministry, as well as two other helpful, summarized documents.  Please read through them as they include well organized information that would be much easier to digest than free-form text provided by Fairhaven.  While the Riverside Special Care RHA remains in outbreak, these changes will need to be deferred until the outbreak is over.

I am also going to draw your attention to highlights:

  1. While the Ministry has given the ability, to homes, to revoke their previously mandatory vaccination policies, homes were also told: “ The Ministry supports homes with their employer-led policies and promotes best practices [booster doses].  Employer-led vaccination policies Long-term care homes, as employers, retain their ability to mandate vaccination requirements for existing and new staff, students, and volunteers”
  1. The overwhelming majority of homes will be keeping their mandatory vaccination policies in place, perhaps with modifications.  Fairhaven will continue to have a mandatory vaccination policy for:
  • Staff (including new hires)
  • Essential Caregivers
  • Students
  • Support Workers
  • Volunteers
  1. The Ministry sets the vaccination requirement for Residents, outside of homes’ policies.
  1. As of March 14, 2022, Fairhaven will continue to require two doses of COVID vaccines (approved by Health Canada) for all the employee groups above
  1. Proof an additional “booster” will be required as well, staring in 2022.  The deadline date for submitting proof to Fairhaven, of having received a booster, will be determined at a later date.
  1. Fairhaven’s testing policy will remain in place for visitors to the inside of our facility.  All the individuals listed in 3. above, in addition to general visitors, will continue to be rapid antigen tested before each visit commences.  People who enter through the front doors will be asked to be rapid tested and, if they refuse, they will not be allowed further entry to our building.
  1. Masking in long term care homes is still mandatory.  EATING AND DRINKING ARE NOT PERMITTED WHEN VISITING WITH A RESIDENT INSIDE OUR HOME.
  1. For vaccinated visitors (Ministry has affirmed homes’ rights to ask for vaccination status), require PPE (unless visiting someone in isolation) including surgical masks only.
  1. For unvaccinated visitors, after passing screening and rapid testing, they need to wear a surgical mask, a faceshield and a gown at all times during visits in our building. 
  1. Up to four visitors are allowed to visit with a Resident at one time (including caregivers), unless the Resident Home Area is in outbreak.
  1. Unvaccinated General Visitors, after passing screening and the testing mentioned above, as strongly advised to have “in room” visits or to have a more distanced visit outside on our grounds.
  1. A maximum of four Essential Caregivers can be designated.
  1. There is not enough room in our dining areas to ensure physical distancing, accommodate family meals or allowing family members to help with feeding.
  1. There are no set limits on the number of outside visitors that a Resident may have at one time but Fairhaven requests that any large groups (10 or more) to contact Fairhaven Reception ahead of time in case there are other large gatherings planned.
  1. People who are strictly visiting outside, with absolutely no entry into our facility, will not be asked to be rapid tested.
  1. The following types of leaves are now permitted for Residents, regardless of their vaccination status, unless their home area is in outbreak, or the Resident is in isolation:
  • Medical, compassionate, or palliative
  • Short term essential (less than 24 hours)
  • Short term social (less than 24 hours)
  • Temporary social (2 plus days or overnight)

Family COVID-19 Communication – March 15, 2022

Update on Cases and Easing of Ministry Easing of Pandemic Response Measures

There is currently one Resident COVID case in Riverside Special Care.  There are no staff cases related to this Resident Home area.

I’ve included the Pandemic Response Update, that was sent with the last Family Communication, with this email.

Pandemic Response Updates – Easing of Measures by Ministry of Long-Term Care

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Associate Deputy Minister – LTC Policy and Pandemic Response, released several documents related to their further easing of protective measures in long term care on Monday, March 14, 2022 .  I am including a “snapshot” of the changes put in place, providing by the Ministry, as well as two other helpful, summarized documents.  Please read through them as they include well organized information that would be much easier to digest than free-form text provided by Fairhaven.  While the Riverside Special Care RHA remains in outbreak, these changes will need to be deferred until the outbreak is over.

I am also going to draw your attention to highlights:

  1. While the Ministry has given the ability, to homes, to revoke their previously mandatory vaccination policies, homes were also told: “ The Ministry supports homes with their employer-led policies and promotes best practices [booster doses].  Employer-led vaccination policies Long-term care homes, as employers, retain their ability to mandate vaccination requirements for existing and new staff, students, and volunteers”
  1. The overwhelming majority of homes will be keeping their mandatory vaccination policies in place, perhaps with modifications.  Fairhaven will continue to have a mandatory vaccination policy for:
  • Staff (including new hires)
  • Essential Caregivers
  • Students
  • Support Workers
  • Volunteers
  1. The Ministry sets the vaccination requirement for Residents, outside of homes’ policies.
  1. As of March 14, 2022, Fairhaven will continue to require two doses of COVID vaccines (approved by Health Canada) for all the employee groups above
  1. Proof an additional “booster” will be required as well, staring in 2022.  The deadline date for submitting proof to Fairhaven, of having received a booster, will be determined at a later date.
  1. Fairhaven’s testing policy will remain in place for visitors to the inside of our facility.  All the individuals listed in 3. above, in addition to general visitors, will continue to be rapid antigen tested before each visit commences.  People who enter through the front doors will be asked to be rapid tested and, if they refuse, they will not be allowed further entry to our building.
  1. Masking in long term care homes is still mandatory.  EATING AND DRINKING ARE NOT PERMITTED WHEN VISITING WITH A RESIDENT INSIDE OUR HOME.
  1. For vaccinated visitors (Ministry has affirmed homes’ rights to ask for vaccination status), require PPE (unless visiting someone in isolation) including surgical masks only.
  1. For unvaccinated visitors, after passing screening and rapid testing, they need to wear a surgical mask, a faceshield and a gown at all times during visits in our building. 
  1. Up to four visitors are allowed to visit with a Resident at one time (including caregivers), unless the Resident Home Area is in outbreak.
  1. Unvaccinated General Visitors, after passing screening and the testing mentioned above, as strongly advised to have “in room” visits or to have a more distanced visit outside on our grounds.
  1. A maximum of four Essential Caregivers can be designated.
  1. There is not enough room in our dining areas to ensure physical distancing, accommodate family meals or allowing family members to help with feeding.
  1. There are no set limits on the number of outside visitors that a Resident may have at one time but Fairhaven requests that any large groups (10 or more) to contact Fairhaven Reception ahead of time in case there are other large gatherings planned.
  1. People who are strictly visiting outside, with absolutely no entry into our facility, will not be asked to be rapid tested.
  1. The following types of leaves are now permitted for Residents, regardless of their vaccination status, unless their home area is in outbreak, or the Resident is in isolation:
  • Medical, compassionate, or palliative
  • Short term essential (less than 24 hours)
  • Short term social (less than 24 hours)
  • Temporary social (2 plus days or overnight)

Family COVID-19 Communication – March 10, 2022

Update on Cases and Easing of Ministry Easing of Pandemic Response Measures

Cases

There are no staff cases and 5 active Resident cases remaining on the Riverside Special Care Home Area

Pandemic Response Updates – Easing of Measures by Ministry of Long-Term Care

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Associate Deputy Minister – LTC Policy and Pandemic Response, released several documents related to their further easing of protective measures in long term care on Monday, March 14, 2022 .  I am including a “snapshot” of the changes put in place, providing by the Ministry, as well as two other helpful, summarized documents.  Please read through them as they include well organized information that would be much easier to digest than free-form text provided by Fairhaven.  While the Riverside Special Care RHA remains in outbreak, these changes will need to be deferred until the outbreak is over.

I am also going to draw your attention to highlights:

  1. While the Ministry has given the ability, to homes, to revoke their previously mandatory vaccination policies, homes were also told: “ The Ministry supports homes with their employer-led policies and promotes best practices [booster doses].  Employer-led vaccination policies Long-term care homes, as employers, retain their ability to mandate vaccination requirements for existing and new staff, students, and volunteers”
  1. The overwhelming majority of homes will be keeping their mandatory vaccination policies in place, perhaps with modifications.  Fairhaven will continue to have a mandatory vaccination policy for:
  • Staff (including new hires)
  • Essential Caregivers
  • Students
  • Support Workers
  • Volunteers
  1. The Ministry sets the vaccination requirement for Residents, outside of homes’ policies.
  1. As of March 14, 2022, Fairhaven will continue to require two doses of COVID vaccines (approved by Health Canada) for all the employee groups above
  1. Proof an additional “booster” will be required as well, staring in 2022.  The deadline date for submitting proof to Fairhaven, of having received a booster, will be determined at a later date.
  1. Fairhaven’s testing policy will remain in place for visitors to the inside of our facility.  All the individuals listed in 3. above, in addition to general visitors, will continue to be rapid antigen tested before each visit commences.  People who enter through the front doors will be asked to be rapid tested and, if they refuse, they will not be allowed further entry to our building.
  1. Masking in long term care homes is still mandatory.  EATING AND DRINKING ARE NOT PERMITTED WHEN VISITING WITH A RESIDENT INSIDE OUR HOME.
  1. For vaccinated visitors (Ministry has affirmed homes’ rights to ask for vaccination status), require PPE (unless visiting someone in isolation) including surgical masks only.
  1. For unvaccinated visitors, after passing screening and rapid testing, they need to wear a surgical mask, a faceshield and a gown at all times during visits in our building. 
  1. Up to four visitors are allowed to visit with a Resident at one time (including caregivers), unless the Resident Home Area is in outbreak.
  1. Unvaccinated General Visitors, after passing screening and the testing mentioned above, as strongly advised to have “in room” visits or to have a more distanced visit outside on our grounds.
  1. A maximum of four Essential Caregivers can be designated.
  1. There is not enough room in our dining areas to ensure physical distancing, accommodate family meals or allowing family members to help with feeding.
  1. There are no set limits on the number of outside visitors that a Resident may have at one time but Fairhaven requests that any large groups (10 or more) to contact Fairhaven Reception ahead of time in case there are other large gatherings planned.
  1. People who are strictly visiting outside, with absolutely no entry into our facility, will not be asked to be rapid tested.
  1. The following types of leaves are now permitted for Residents, regardless of their vaccination status, unless their home area is in outbreak, or the Resident is in isolation:
  • Medical, compassionate, or palliative
  • Short term essential (less than 24 hours)
  • Short term social (less than 24 hours)
  • Temporary social (2 plus days or overnight)

Long-Term Care Visitor, Absences & Social Gatherings Snapshot As of March 14, 2022

Key Messages to Support Residents and Families in LTC Homes

COVID-19 Policies: What Residents Can Expect in a Long-Term Care Home

Family COVID-19 Communication – March 7, 2022

All staff cases in the Riverside 1 Home Area are resolved. There are 6 active Resident cases in this Home area. The outbreak on Riverside 3 will be declared over today.

Thank you to our staff who have once again proven how important it is to detect, report, respond to, and contain positive cases. Decreasing PCR testing may result in fewer “official” cases, but it does nothing to protect people’s health and understates the level of transmission in our community.

Outbreak Notes:

• It is critically important for all Homes to rapid test all symptomatic Residents and, if the result is positive, to confirm the antigen test with a follow-up PCR lab test. If this is not done, there is no official record of the COVID cases.

• It is also essential to rapid test and PCR test all Residents that could be close contacts of the first, or “index”, Resident case, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms. While doing so may increase the reported number of active cases for a Home, the virus could be spread to others even if people are not exhibiting symptoms. While isolating Residents, without a confirmatory PCR test, could be effective in managing the individual’s health, it would result in COVID case numbers being understated and would be in direct violations of both Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and Peterborough Public Health directions to long term care Homes.

• The source of any virus introduction to our Home could be a staff person, an essential caregiver or a Resident who has participated in a day leave

• While there is much evidence that cases have been declining in our area, the number of active cases is higher than it has been at any other point in the pandemic. There are countless cases in schools, daycares, congregate living facilities, and in the public. The statistics available for the Peterborough area only include positive results from the limited number of people who can receive a PCR test (hospital and long-term care home staff, etc.).

• Since the start of the pandemic, Fairhaven has tested 100% of its employees and Residents in full accordance with Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and directives. When a Resident, staff person, or caregiver has the virus, we know and are completely open and transparent about their infection status with Peterborough Public Health, the Ministry of Long Term Care, and all our stakeholders.

• As mentioned in a prior Family bulletin, being one of the largest homes in Ontario (and the largest in the Peterborough Public Health catchment area), makes the possibility of our facility meeting the active case thresholds, set for calling outbreaks, much more likely when Ministry and Peterborough Public Health testing guidelines are being followed.

• The presence of the coronavirus in the general public will be mirrored, to a certain extent, in congregate living settings. The true test of a Home’s infection prevention and control processes and protocols is in how well COVID is detected and limited. Since Fairhaven’s first COVID outbreak in the Fall of 2020, staff have demonstrated tremendous skill, and a tireless work ethic, in keeping infections contained within our facility.

Family COVID-19 Communication – February 28, 2022

There are six active Resident cases from Riverside 3 (R3) as of this morning (Monday, February 28th).  Riverside Special Care (RSSC) has twelve active Resident cases.  There are also fifteen active staff cases; most with no epidemiological link to prior cases at Fairhaven.  We continue to quick test all staff, and all essential caregivers, daily. 

One of the challenges with Omicron, and the Omicron subvariant B.A.2, is that carriers can have no symptoms for several days which give the much more transmissible COVID strain more time to infect others before it is detected.  While some may argue that the virus can now be treated as a simple respiratory infection (such as a cold), in long term care, and that there is no need to test Residents as that simply “creates” outbreaks, this strategy is risky at best.  The number of deaths has been higher during this wave than in any other time in our pandemic era, and people do not need to have a strong illness to suffer “long haul” symptoms after their case is resolved.  Long Term Care Homes need to recognize and contain each case in order to minimize transmission and decrease the likelihood of serious illness to Residents, even if this means going through additional outbreaks.

At other points in the pandemic, with less cases in the community, governments were curtailing business activity and mandating stay at hose orders to prevent the spread of the virus.  This strategy is clearly not sustainable at this point in the pandemic, but it is indisputable that “learning to live with Covid” will lead to more positive cases in our community and also in long term care homes that follow the testing protocols of the Ministry and Peterborough Public Health.  We also need to be cognizant of the impact that isolation has on Residents.  There is a balance between ensuring the physical and emotional well being of those that live at FH.

As we move forward, it is important to note that the potential for outbreaks, and shorter time in between outbreaks, is higher due to a higher “leveling off” point of case counts, due to the transmissibility of Omicron, compared to previous waves.  The easing of COVID restrictions in the community will put upward pressure on local case counts, which will necessarily lead to a higher risk of the virus being brough into any Home by staff, family members or Residents themselves.

Outbreak Notes:

  • It is critically important for all Homes to rapid test all symptomatic Residents and, if the result is positive, to confirm the antigen test with a follow up PCR lab test.  If this is not done, there is no official record of the COVID cases.
  • It is also essential to rapid test and PCR test all Residents that could be close contacts of the first, or “index”, Resident case, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.  While doing so may increase the reported number of active cases for a Home, the virus could be spread to others even if people are not exhibiting symptoms.  While isolating Residents, without a confirmatory PCR test, could be effective in managing the individual’s health, it would result in COVID case numbers being understated and would be in direct violations of both Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and Peterborough Public Health directions to long term care Homes.
  • The source of any virus introduction to our Home could be a staff person, an essential caregiver or a Resident who has participated in a day leave
  • While there is much evidence that cases have been declining in our area, the number of active cases is higher than it has been at any other point in the pandemic.  There are countless cases in schools, daycares, congregate living facilities, and in the public.  The statistics available for the Peterborough area only include positive results from the limited number of people who can receive a PCR test (hospital and long term care home staff, etc.).
  • Since the start of the pandemic, Fairhaven has tested 100% of its employees and Residents in full accordance with Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and directives.  When a Resident, staff person, or caregiver has the virus, we know and are completely open and transparent about their infection status with Peterborough Public Health, the Ministry of Long Term Care, and all our stakeholders.
  • As mentioned in a prior Family bulletin, being one of the largest homes in Ontario (and the largest in the Peterborough Public Health catchment area), makes the possibility of our facility meeting the active case thresholds, set for calling outbreaks, much more likely when Ministry and Peterborough Public Health testing guidelines are being followed.
  • The presence of the coronavirus in the general public will be mirrored, to a certain extent, in congregate living settings.  The true test of a Home’s infection prevention and control processes and protocols is in how well COVID is detected and limited.  Since Fairhaven’s first COVID outbreak in the Fall of 2020, staff have demonstrated tremendous skill, and a tireless work ethic, in keeping infections contained within our facility.

Family COVID-19 Communication – February 22, 2022

As of this morning (Tuesday, February 22nd), there are nine active Resident COVID cases and two active staff cases.  There are also positive essential caregiver (EC) cases in the community, but there is not a source of information for total EC numbers for Fairhaven alone.  All Residents who test positive are moved to our isolation unit on Westview 2 which will have a staff complement dedicated to that Resident Home Area alone. 

At this stage in our pandemic, during a wave that includes such a transmissible variant of concern such as Omicron, there are several crucial responsibilities of long term care homes, and key pieces of information that all stakeholders should have:

  • It is critically important for all Homes to rapid test all symptomatic Residents and, if the result is positive, to confirm the antigen test with a follow up PCR lab test.  If this is not done, there is no official record of the COVID cases.
  • It is also essential to rapid test and PCR test all Residents that could be close contacts of the first, or “index”, Resident case, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.  While doing so may increase the reported number of active cases for a Home, the virus could be spread to others even if people are not exhibiting symptoms.  While isolating Residents, without a confirmatory PCR test, could be effective in managing the individual’s health, it would result in COVID case numbers being understated and would be in direct violations of both Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and Peterborough Public Health directions to long term care Homes.
  • As we move forward, it is important to note that the potential for outbreaks, and shorter time in between outbreaks, is higher due to:
  • A higher “leveling off” point of case counts, due to the transmissibility of Omicron, compared to previous waves
  • The easing of COVID restrictions in the community which will put upward pressure on cases which necessarily leads to a higher risk of the virus being brough into our home by staff, family members or Residents themselves.

Family COVID-19 Communication – February 17, 2022

Fairhaven’s testing protocol has identified one positive staff case, and five positive Resident cases, for the coronavirus. Fairhaven will resume heightened surveillance testing and isolation protocols on our Riverside 3 Home Area.

We strongly suggest that essential caregivers (ECs) postpone visits during any COVID outbreak due to the risk of visitors contracting the virus and of bringing further cases into Fairhaven. However, the Ministry of Long Term care allows ECs to visit, during outbreaks; a maximum of one visitor per day will be accepted.

Given the fact that our home was just recently declared out of outbreak, the following points are relevant pieces of information:

• The new cases are not related to our last outbreak.
• The source of this outbreak could be a staff person, an essential caregiver or a Resident who participated in a day leave
• While there is much evidence that cases have been declining in our area, the number of active cases is higher than it has been at any other point in the pandemic. There are countless cases in schools, daycares, congregate living facilities, and in the public. The statistics available for the Peterborough area only include positive results from the limited number of people who can receive a PCR test (hospital and long term care home staff, etc.).
• Our staff, when they leave work, need to look after their families, get groceries, care for older relatives; it is not possible to remove all risks even though they do everything they can to minimize the possibility of becoming infected.
• Since the start of the pandemic, Fairhaven has tested 100% of its employees and Residents in full accordance with Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines and directives. When a Resident, staff person, or caregiver has the virus, we know and are completely open and transparent about their infection status with Peterborough Public Health, the Ministry of Long Term Care, and all our stakeholders.
• As mentioned in the last Family bulletin, being one of the largest homes in Ontario (and the largest in the Peterborough Public Health catchment area), makes the possibility of our facility meeting the active case thresholds, set for calling outbreaks, much more likely. Our size also makes it far more difficult to complete the required amount of time without active cases, in our Resident, Family and essential caregiver populations, to enable our Home to be declared “COVID free.”

It is also important to remember that it is possible for anyone working in long term care homes, to be exposed to COVID-19 in their daily lives. The real test of a Home’s infection prevention and control processes and protocols is in how well it is detected and limited. Since Fairhaven’s first COVID outbreak in the Fall of 2020, staff have demonstrated tremendous skill, and a tireless work ethic, in keeping infections contained withing our facility. I’m sure they will continue to do so moving forward.

Family COVID-19 Communication – February 11, 2022

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) has declared Fairhaven to be out of its COVID outbreak as of this morning (February 11th). Visiting and Resident Leave guidelines were changed on February 7th ; there are no further changes as a result of our change in outbreak status. The next planned modifications to Ministry of Long Term Care (MLTC) visiting and leave policies is targeted for February 21st (see below) but this could change on virtually a moments notice; we will relay the confirmation of these adjustments when we receive corroboration from the Province.

Please remember that we will continue to require everyone visiting Fairhaven (including visits by people who are in a car, or who are just stopping by briefly) to undergo daily rapid antigen tests (RAT). Staff will continue to be required to be tested daily as well.

When you get a chance, please thank our staff, in every department, and every employee group (administration, CUPE and ONA), for the incredible effort that they have put forth recently. Being one of the largest homes in Ontario makes the possibility of our facility meeting the active case thresholds, set for calling outbreaks, much more likely. Our size also makes it far more difficult to complete the required amount of time without active cases, in our Resident, Family and essential caregiver populations, to enable our Home to be declared “COVID free.”

On February 7, 2022:

  1. Increasing the maximum number of designated caregivers per resident from 2 to 4 (unless designated before December 15th). Continue with limit of 2 visitors (currently only caregivers) at a time per resident.
  2. Resuming social day absences for residents who have had at least three COVID-19 vaccine doses, while supporting these residents with information about the benefits of limiting contact with others, including avoiding large social gatherings, following masking and physical distancing as much as possible, and only being in close contact with people who have had three COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Targeting February 21, 2022 to:

  1. Resume all general visitors 5 years and older who have had at least two COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  2. Children under 5 years of age would continue to be restricted from entering a long-term care home, except for infants 12 months or younger.
  3. Increase limits on the number of visitors (including caregivers) that may visit a resident at one time to 3.
  4. Expand social day absences to all residents regardless of vaccination status.
  5. Resume social overnight absences for residents who have had at least three COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  6. With the resumption of general visitors into the homes, this will also allow for the resumption of adult day programs, entertainers and personal care services (where the person is not a staff member) in the homes. Social group activities should remain as small groups (i.e., up to 10).

Targeting March 14, 2022 to:

  1. Resume visits by general visitors under 5 years old. No vaccination requirement for those under the age of 5.
  2. Increase limit on the number of visitors (including caregivers) at a time per resident to 4.
  3. Allow social overnight absences for all residents regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 Family Communication – February 7, 2022

As part of the Associate Deputy Minister memo that was released recently, the Ministry of Long-Term Care, in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH), is planning for the gradual easing of temporary enhanced measures in long-term care (LTC) homes. This plan is in the context of the broader reopening of Ontario.  As of February 7th, the following steps will be taken:

  • Increasing the maximum number of designated caregivers per resident from two to four.
  • Continuing with the limit of two visitors (currently only caregivers) at a time per resident (unless the Resident is in isolation or potentially if the Home or resident home area is in outbreak, in which cases Fairhaven can limit essential caregivers to one per visit). 
  • Resuming social day absences for residents who have had at least three COVID-19 vaccine doses, while supporting these residents with information about the benefits of limiting contact with others, including avoiding large social gatherings, following masking and physical distancing as much as possible, and only being in close contact with people who have had three COVID-19 vaccine doses.

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Universal-Masking-in-Effect.png

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 off 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.

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.

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

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.