July 31, 2020
I want to begin by acknowledging your continued patience and understanding as we continue to manage COVID-19 here at the Home. As you know, on July 18th we took a step backwards and restricted visiting given emerging information that a new surge of the virus was happening in our community. We now know that the surge was real and closely connected to the Home. At the time of writing, we believe that we remain virus-free. The basis for this information also includes a 4th round of testing for all staff here at the Home. This staff testing took place on July 27th and 28th, and we are very pleased to announce the results of this testing has all come back NEGATIVE.
That said, we have also continued to watch the virus numbers in the Windsor-Essex area. Each day, we anticipate around 9:30am what our local health unit reports in terms of new infections, as well as the breakdown of those new infections. Overall, these numbers have not been great; each day since July 18th, our area has seen double digit increases with about 1/3 being community infections. It was primarily on this basis that we decided to claw back visiting. This decision was made in consultation with our Medical Director (Dr. Randy Holloway), Infection Control Nurse, (Cheryl Alice), and the Home’s COVID Management Team. Each day since that time, we have evaluated the fine line between measures to keep residents safe versus what they need for their own emotional health.
With knowledge that our staff have tested negative again, a visit from the Erie Shores Infection Control Team this past week (who did not note any areas of concern), and consultation with Dr. Holloway and our COVID Management team, we feel that as of next Wednesday, August 5th, we can begin our outdoor, window, and patio visits again. We will begin booking visits on Tuesday, August 4th - please contact the Home at 519-326-6109 to book a time. At this time you are NOT required to have a negative COVID-19 test to attend for any of these visiting options. The outdoor tent visits will take place from 9:00am - 3:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with window visits to be scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Patio visits will be scheduled when time allows.
Prior to July 18th, our Home was also completely prepared to begin indoor visits on July 22nd. Again, we will continue to monitor our local situation very closely to possibly begin indoor visits on August 12th. As we get closer to that date we will send out information about the procedure for these indoor visits. We do know that indoor visits will require a negative COVID-19 test within 14 days of the visit taking place.
Just a reminder that all Residents can leave the Home for any medical/dental appointments and will not be subject to 14 days of isolation upon return so long as they have not been admitted to the hospital overnight.
I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding. I want to thank the Residents for their patience and understanding, and I want to thank our staff for the great care that they provide in light of this COVID-19 time.
PS: The Home is doing a joint fish fry with UMEI on August 13th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Please contact Shelley Enns at 519-796-0252 to place your order for pick-up.