April 1, 2021

Dear Families and Caregivers,                                                                                     

Lockdown

As of Saturday April 3, the province has been placed into Lockdown once again to curb the spread of the highly contagious variants of the virus for the next 4 weeks. Cases in the province are higher today than they were on Dec 21, 2020 when the last Lockdown was announced and the numbers of people in ICU are at the highest level they have been during the pandemic. Lockdown this time around will look a little different than previously so we don’t anticipate a whole lot of change here at Shalom than what we have already been doing due to the restrictions placed on us from the Ministry for Long-term Care. That said, Lockdown is not something any of us was wanting, especially since we have positive news in the Long-term Care community.

Life at Shalom

Despite our restrictions, we have been able to open up the courtyard for residents to enjoy, residents are getting outside for walks and duet biking, and church services have resumed with proper social distancing and cohorting in place. We have worked hard to look for ways to allow residents to get back to some of the normal activities.

Vaccines

In the first 8 weeks after vaccinations began, the number of cases in Long-term Care Homes dropped by 84% among residents, and the number that have passed away due to the virus has dropped by 96%. We are so grateful for those statistics. We also want to remind you that Essential Family Caregivers (EFC) are able to register for vaccinations using Shalom Manor’s Vaccination number. Please contact the DRC, at drc@shalommanor.ca  for more information. We would encourage all EFC’s to arrange for vaccinations as an additional level of protection for your loved ones and families.

Essential Family Caregivers

We wanted you to know that Residents are still permitted to have Essential Family Caregivers come to the home to provide support for their loved ones during the Lockdown. Each time, an EFC enters the building they must be screened at the front entrance, proceed to the Auditorium to be Rapid Tested (swabbed) for COVID-19, and wait 15 minutes for their result before proceeding into Shalom.

Surveillance Testing

Swabbing is offered daily, including weekends, from 5:15am-5:00pm in the auditorium and is closed daily from 12:00-1:00 pm for lunch. EFC’s must arrive during these times to obtain testing and must wear a mask, and face shield, at all times while in the building. On Sunday’s, to accommodate church services (9-12) the clinic is moved to the café which is smaller.  If you come during that time, you may have to wait to be admitted to the home until the clinic is free.

Effective April 12th, nasopharyngeal swabs will no longer be offered as a method of specimen collection for rapid antigen testing. The throat and nose combination swab, as well as the deep nasal swab will be the only tests offered at the clinics. The throat and nose combination swab is now the preferred method of specimen collection and will be the test first offered. 

Gardens Residents

Several EFC’s for Gardens residents have asked about permission for their loved one to be taken off the premises. The RHRA guidelines indicate that “A resident may be permitted to leave the home for walks or essentials (e.g., groceries, medical appointments, filling prescriptions)”.

Please do not take them to family events over the weekend which is prohibited in the lockdown and will result in self isolation upon their return.

Happy Easter everyone,

John Peneycad

CEO