905-735-5333 Welland, Ontario
Return

Changes to Directive #3 in Ontario: An Update on Visitor Policy Continued

December 15, 2020

COVID-19-Blog

Hello everyone,

We share your disappointment regarding the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and outbreaks throughout the province, especially as it results in further restrictions during our traditional holiday season. While the holidays are guaranteed to be different, our team members have been working hard to surprise and delight residents with extra care and thoughtful gestures.

We want to remind residents to alert team members immediately should you not feel well.  We cannot stress enough that family and visitors should not visit if there is any doubt that you are experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms.  Seasons’ Health Questionnaire is quite exhaustive when it comes to potential symptoms and is specific about your own risk of exposure: Please be honest in your responses and rebook your visit if you are feeling unwell.

While Seasons Camrose remains in outbreak, we are making progress. We are happy to report that we now have residents who are considered recovered and that prevalence testing has stopped for the majority of home.  Two resident home areas remain our primary focus for outbreak containment.  We are following all recommendations from Alberta Health Services, and are in regular contact with our staff, residents and families, to update them on the situation.

Alberta

Changes to Visitor Policy. Alberta announced extensive new restrictions that will remain in place at least for four weeks, which will last through Christmas and New Year’s.  This includes but is not limited to a mask mandate and ban on all outdoor and indoor social gatherings.  Close social contact will be limited to those in the same household.  As such, Seasons is implementing the following changes to our Alberta Visiting Policy:

Scenario Status
General Visitor
  • Not permitted
Essential Visitor

(Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver)

Resident or SDM may identify a maximum of 2 individuals

  • Maximum of 1 per visit
Leaving the Retirement Residence
  • Walks outside on-premises
  • Essential appointments
Overnight Absences
  • Not permitted
Social Activities
  • Permitted
  • Limited to small groups of residents who are part of the same cohort
  • Residents wear masks
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Hand hygiene

Ontario

Changes to Directive #3.  As we noted last week, retirement homes will no longer be classified as Alert or High Alert.  Instead, they will now be subject to provincial protocols under Green (Prevent), Yellow (Protect), Orange (Restrict), Red (Control), and Grey (Lockdown) COVID-19 zones that are based on the boundaries of their local public health unit.  There may also be additional local restrictions or requirements.

As such, the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) and the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) have recommended changes to the Retirement Home COVID-19 Visiting Policy and IPAC measures.   Please see the summary chart below:

Scenario Green or Yellow Orange Red Grey
General Visitor Maximum of 2 per visit Not permitted Not permitted Not permitted
Essential Visitor

(Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver)

Resident or SDM may identify a maximum of 2 individuals

Maximum of 2 per visit Maximum of 1 per visit Maximum of 1 per visit Maximum of 1 per visit
Hairdresser & Nail Care Maximum of 1

Provider may only service our retirement home

Maximum of 1

Provider may only service our retirement home

Not permitted Not permitted
Leaving the Retirement Residence Permitted

 

Walks outside on-premises

Essential appointments

 

Walks outside on-premises

Essential appointments

 

Walks outside on-premises

Essential appointments

 

Overnight Absences Permitted provided IPAC measures are followed

Required to self-isolate for 14 days under droplet precaution upon return

Not permitted Not permitted Not permitted
Social Activities Permitted

Group size adheres to government restrictions per colour code

Residents wear masks

Maintain physical distancing

Hand hygiene

Permitted

Group size adheres to government restrictions per colour code

Residents wear masks

Maintain physical distancing

Hand hygiene

Permitted

Group size adheres to government restrictions per colour code

Residents wear masks

Maintain physical distancing

Hand hygiene

Permitted

Group size adheres to government restrictions per colour code

Residents wear masks

Maintain physical distancing

Hand hygiene

The following chart identifies how Seasons communities are zoned this week:

Green or Yellow Orange Red Grey  
Dufferin Centre

Owen Sound

Brantford

St. Thomas

Welland

Cambridge

Clarington

Milton

Strathroy

Stoney Creek

Amherstburg

Royal Oak Village

Belle River

For further details, here are links to helpful resources that we use for guidance and compliance:

(AB and ON) Essential Visitor – Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver.  Residents may name two people to act as their Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver.  They may be a family member, friend, companion (privately paid or volunteer), support worker (privately paid or volunteer), power of attorney/trustee, agent, legal guardian, or any other person identified.

A reminder that this type of “visitor” would be deemed essential and as such, provides direct care which may include:

      • Supporting feeding
      • Mobility
      • Personal hygiene
      • Cognitive stimulation
      • Communication
      • Meaningful connection
      • Relational continuity
      • Assistance in decision making

The Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver MUST:

      • Be identified by the resident and/or substitute decision-maker
      • Schedule all visits ahead of time
      • Remain consistent
      • Be educated in all IPAC protocols, specifically donning & doffing of PPE
      • Adhere to all IPAC protocols or risk being declined further visits

Please speak with your General Manager should you have any questions about assigning someone as a Designated Family/Support Person/Caregiver.  It is our hope that together, we can continue to ensure that our residents and team members remain safe while maintaining access to for those that are in greatest need.

IPAC Protocols during the Holidays

We would like to remind everyone of IPAC protocols required to ensure safety in our home during this holiday season:

  • Visits must be booked in advance
  • Anyone entering the home is required to be screened prior to being granted access
  • Visitors are required to bring their own new surgical mask to wear throughout their visit
  • Residents are required to wear masks to the best of their ability when outside of their suite
  • Hand hygiene is to be practiced
  • Physical distancing is to be maintained
  • Any resident who leaves the home for anything other than an essential appointment will be required to isolate upon return for at least 14 days

COVID-19 Vaccine

Last Wednesday, we were very excited to learn that Health Canada had granted authorization for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.  At this time we do not have any firm dates regarding access to the vaccine for our residents and team members yet we remain committed to notifying you as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we are empathetic to our residents and families who we know would like to gather for the holidays, be it in our communities or in loved ones’ homes.  The changes I outlined and the surge in COVID-19 cases across Ontario and Alberta would indicate that this is not prudent. However, news about the impending vaccination program brings us very close to returning to normal interactions with one another.   We are asking residents, families and team members to continue to sacrifice their social interactions, wear a mask, physically distance and practice good hand hygiene for a little bit longer.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank you, Seasons Team Members, for your unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our residents and your fellow team members.  We see the work you are doing each day and it matters; you are truly making an impact on the lives of others and we appreciate all of your efforts.

Seasons remains committed to the health, safety and well-being of our staff and residents.  Whether you live or work with us, thank you all for the trust you continue to place in our company.

Sincerely,

LeighAnne Voll
Chief Operating Officer,
Seasons Retirement Communities

Discover Life at Seasons. Book a Personal Visit Today.