“We are grateful that Niagara Public Health has declared the outbreak on Sunrise Court as resolved. Much thanks goes to the diligent work of our staff and the teamwork that they have shown. We are thankful, to date none of our residents have received a positive test result for COVID-19. This a testament to our staff taking the home precautions to heart. We remain vigilant in this time and continue to maintain all precautions.”
Monday, April 13 - Frequently Asked Questions Q. Are all staff being tested?
A. No, only staff that exhibit active symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing, fever, lethargy or body aches would be approved for testing by Niagara Public Health. Our health care workers have been identified as priority tests so they receive their results in a timelier manner from Public Health. Any staff that self-monitor and present any of the above symptoms are not to report to work and contact their family doctor.
Q. Are only the residents on Sunrise being tested?
A. No, any residents that exhibit symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 case definition will be tested. To date 9 residents have been swabbed, 4 of the residents test swabs have come back negative for COVID-19. We are awaiting the results of the remaining swabs.
Q. What plans are in place to speed up testing?
As public health has identified our home as high risk, we are now getting rapid test results back following pick up of the test swabs within 24 to 48 hours. Previously before the outbreak was declared, our 2 resident test swabs took approximately 96 hours for reporting of results to come forward. All testing depends on availability of test swabs from Public Health and Public Health’s timeliness in picking up the test swabs. Currently our home has 8 test swab kits available for use.
Q. Were precautions taken on March 23rd?
A. Precautions have been in place throughout this process. As we have been progressing our precautions have become stronger each day.
Q. When did staff start wearing PPE?
A. Staff were always required to wear full PPE (masks, gloves and gowns) when performing care procedures for residents being monitored and in isolation in their rooms due to exhibiting symptoms. Beginning on April 3rd all staff were required to wear facial masks during the entirety of their shifts in the home areas.
Q. Are staff only allowed to work at Shalom Manor?
A. Yes, our staff were required to make a choice of where to work as of March 30th. Ahead of this all staff were required to report if they worked in multiple facilities and the leadership team monitored those places if they were high risk. Some staff were asked to make an employment choice ahead of March 30th as there other employment was deemed high risk (i.e. hospital).
Q. Is there enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
A. The short answer is yes, we have enough PPE. We monitor our PPE usage daily and have resources in place for any PPE that may be deemed critical. These resources include direct contacts with our nursing supply vendor, Niagara Public Health and the Ministry of Long-Term Care. We are very thankful for the volunteer work done by many to make fabric face masks as well.
Q. Have staff screening been enhanced?
A. Enhanced staff screening has been in place since March 14th. All staff are required to self-monitor at home before coming to Shalom Manor. Upon arrival they can only enter work through the front door and are required to go through active screening.
Q. Are temperatures being taken twice per day?
A. Yes, both residents and staff are required to have their temperatures taken twice per day. Staff temperatures are taken at the beginning and the end of their shifts. Resident temperatures are taken once in the morning and once in the evening.
Q. Will families receive regular weekly and monthly communication going forward?
A. Yes, when we communicated with families on April 6th we identified some gaps in our email chain. Those gaps have been corrected and regular emails to all families will go out. We have added a section to our website to provide regular updates for changes at Shalom Manor related to COVID-19.
Q. Can I visit my loved one who is palliative?
A. One person who has been designated by the family as the essential visitors are allowed in the building once a day to visit a resident who is very ill or requiring end-of-life care. The designated visitor must get advanced approval by the Home, must pass the daily screening procedure, and must visit only in the resident's room. Once the visitor leaves the building they cannot return until the following day.
*************** Wednesday, April 8 - 8:30 a.m. As our province deals with Covid-19, seniors’ homes are places that require particularly high levels of vigilance. For that reason we deeply appreciate the many prayers being raised to God on behalf of Shalom Manor, our residents, and our staff.
We are doing our utmost to provide the very highest level of care for which Shalom Manor is known. Perhaps you have heard that our home has been placed in “Outbreak Status.” This has been done out of an abundance of caution and we are thankful to God that no residents have tested positive for Covid-19 as I am writing this update. We are working closely with local health officials and we will continue to carefully monitor any possible contacts with anyone who may have symptoms or test positive.
I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone on our staff team as the medical staff, office personnel, housekeeping staff, the dietary department, our chaplain, and the recreational staff all play such key roles in delivering great physical, emotional and spiritual care. Our team members have been very creative in keeping our residents engaged with their family members and friends, and we appreciate all that they are doing! Shalom Manor continues to feel very much like a “home,” even in these unusual times!
Please continue to uphold our home in your prayers.