Long-Term Care and COVID-19

INFORMATION BULLETIN: MAY 7, 2020

Providence Health Care continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to protect the health of all British Columbians, including people living in long-term care homes and assisted living.

Yesterday, the province announced how it will begin to reopen — adapting to this new ‘normal.’ It is still too early to know when visitor restrictions will be lifted at our long term care homes. We will continue to work on ways for families to connect with their loved ones during this difficult time.

Providence Health Care has no outbreaks of COVID-19 in our long-term care or assisted living homes. We will continue to take proactive measures to reduce risk and will keep families informed in the event of an outbreak.

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INFORMATION BULLETIN: APRIL 22, 2020 

Providence Health Care is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to protect the health of all British Columbians, including people living in Long Term Care homes and Assisted Living.

As of April 22, there are no outbreaks of COVID-19 at any of Providence’s homes. Understandably, families may be wondering how they will be informed in the event of an outbreak, as well as what proactive measures Providence is taking to reduce the risk. Click the button below to read the latest information bulletin.

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INFORMATION BULLETIN: MARCH 18, 2020 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our visiting rules have changed. Please read this updated bulletin carefully.

An order was issued on March 20th by Vancouver Coastal Health’s Medical Health Officer which changes the visiting policy in Long Term Care effective immediately.

The order directs us to deny access to any and all visitors to LTC, with the limited exception of the immediate family members of a resident who is clinically assessed to be at end of life and the spiritual advisor to this resident, in which case such individuals will be subject to enhanced screening for COVID-19. 

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FIND More multilingual COVId-19 resources here 

A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM STAFF AND RESIDENTS AT MOUNT ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL

Staff and residents living at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (Vancouver) have a special message to our community: Everyone is doing well and we appreciate you staying home so our staff can come to work to care for our most vulnerable and ensure our residents can be safe and healthy — thank YOU! Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube.

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING & GOALS OF CARE IN LONG-TERM CARE DURING COVID-19 

Click on the below image to download the informational brochure.

Q&A FOR LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS AND FAMILIES

Please note that as things change rapidly, Q&As and guidelines will be updated. Review this website often to ensure you have the most up to date information or consult your leader if you have concerns or identify discrepancies. 

Can I still visit my family member in long-term care?
An order was issued on March 20th by Vancouver Coastal Health’s Medical Health Officer which changes the visiting policy in Long Term Care effective immediately. Visitor access restrictions are in place at long term care homes across the province to keep residents and staff safe. The only visits permitted are family or spiritual advisors when residents are at the end of life, or for compassionate reasons. These restrictions are in place to protect the health of our patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians. There is no timetable for when these restrictions will be lifted.
How can I connect with my loved one now that visitation is restricted?
Please contact the Long Term Care facility to learn how staff can set up communication with your loved one in a way that doesn’t compromise their safety, or the safety of other residents or staff.
What measures are being taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in care homes?
We have stepped up our resident monitoring efforts at all our homes. Any residents showing signs of the cold, flu or other similar symptoms are tested immediately. And we are ready to take appropriate actions to guard against spread. We have also stepped up our infection prevention and control planning to ensure we can protect residents. This means implementing our isolation/seclusion procedures and protocols if any residents have onset of symptoms. Our housekeeping staff have increased the number of times they clean our care areas, washroom and work areas. More hand-sanitizer dispensers are being provided and we are continually promoting proper hand-hygiene. To further encourage the focus on hand hygiene we are placing ‘greeters’ (volunteers from non-clinical areas and the volunteer team) at the entrances of our sites, reminding everyone to please use the hand gel, and not to enter the building if you feel unwell. As part of British Columbia’s emergency novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response plan, the Province is partnering with the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) to launch EquipCare BC to help seniors in long-term care and assisted living homes. EquipCare BC is a new program that will provide $10 million to enhance infection prevention and control, and improve quality and safety in long-term care and assisted living homes throughout the province. To read the full news release, click here.
How can residents and family members protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19?
We're reminding staff and residents of all long-term care homes to exercise excellent hand hygiene and follow all infection control signs posted at the facility. The best protection is to follow proper hygiene etiquette during cold and flu season. This includes proper hand washing with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and staying home when you are sick. It’s a good idea to remind your relative of the importance of washing their hands on a regular basis, especially before they eat their meals.
What happens if a staff member at a long-term care site gets sick?
All care staff showing any signs of illness have been asked not to come to work. If they are being tested for COVID-19, they are directed to get tested and to self-isolate until they have their results. If they test positive, they are asked to continue self-isolation as per Public Health’s direction. A key prevention tactic has been Public Health Officials working with the Canadian Border Agency to screen people, including Canadian health care staff, re-entering BC. Anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. Health care workers who provide direct patient care who have travelled outside of Canada may return to work immediately, but are being asked to self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate at home following their shift.
Is my family member at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19?
We are still learning about COVID-19. For people infected with COVID-19, there is a wide range in infection severity from no symptoms to severe pneumonia. Current information suggests that older people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are at higher risk of developing more severe illness or complications from COVID-19. Although most people with COVID-19 recover, people with chronic diseases are also at higher risk of death if they become ill. Those at higher risk for COVID-19 complications should follow general preventative strategies against infection, and should they become ill, seek medical help early.
Should I be concerned about the outbreak expanding to other long-term care facilities?
Understandably, news of confirmed COVID-19 cases at long-term care homes is causing concern to families in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland who have relatives in long-term care. Because of the precautions we have in place, there is a limited possibility of transmitting the virus from an affected care home to other long-term care homes. For example, staff are working at only one location; they are not moving between facilities. We also have full infection prevention and control precautions in place in the facility to protect both the staff and the residents who are not affected.
Now that the WHO has declared COVID-19 disease to be a pandemic, will you be doing anything differently or in addition to the measures already outlined?
We are continually working with our health care partners, the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. This includes ongoing planning and discussions to ensure we are fully prepared at our long-term care facilities. This has been taking place for quite some time now, well in advance of the pandemic declaration. Of course we will be continuing this work in the days and weeks ahead, and when necessary, enact extra measures to ensure our residents and families are safe.

 

This page last updated April 30, 2020 08:06am PDT