Updates from provincial and municipal partners
Our health care partners provide frequent updates to safety protocols in long-term care. Follow these resources to see the latest recommendations:
Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-term care
- Updates and directives for long-term care
- Ministry of Health website
- Phasing in visits to long-term care homes
Ottawa Public Health
Visiting long-term care homes
Older adults are especially vulnerable to serious and life-threatening complications from COVID-19. Staff are following best practices to ensure everyone’s safety, including screening all visitors and staff, as advised by the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Long-term Care and Ottawa Public Health.
On June 10 the government of Ontario introduced a phased approach to opening LTC homes to visitors. Details are on the Ministry of Long-Term Care website.
Care and services
Residents are receiving the same quality of care with very few changes or interruptions to their routines. Some examples include refinements to group activities and adjustments to dining procedures to allow for physical distancing. Homes on outbreak have more changes to reduce interactions between residents.
The homes have plans in place for infection prevention and control to prevent, detect, and reduce the spread of infection. For example:
- All long-term care employees are restricted from working in other locations.
- Newly admitted or re-admitted residents are isolated for 14 days and tested.
- Increased and enhanced housekeeping
- Ottawa Public Health identifies and monitors individuals who may have had contact with an infectious person as a means of controlling the spread.
Testing for COVID-19
- Staff and residents are each screened for symptoms twice daily.
- Any resident with respiratory symptoms is isolated and tested. Staff showing symptoms are sent home and tested.
- Surveillance testing on all residents and staff has occurred on multiple occasions in all four City of Ottawa long-term care homes. More surveillance testing is completed as recommended by Ottawa Public Health.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19
If a case is confirmed, the homes have a pandemic plan to follow, with directives from the province and guidance from Ottawa Public Health:
- Staff will use protective equipment.
- Any residents and staff who have been in contact with cases will be tested; even those who do not have any symptoms.
- Staff and resident cohorting will be implemented to limit the spread of the virus in the home. Cohorting means that residents may be moved to a different location in the home and staff may be assigned to work with specific residents or to provide care for residents in a specific order.
- Residents with the virus are assessed and if hospitalization is required, a consultation with their power of attorney or substitute decision maker will occur prior to transfer.
All new admissions and re-admissions are being tested for COVID-19 and placed in isolation for 14 days as a precaution. If the home is on outbreak, no new admissions or re-admissions will take place until the outbreak is over.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The province has prioritized the supply of PPE to long-term care homes. The homes have an appropriate supply of equipment to support everyone’s safety, and we are working with the province and suppliers to maintain that inventory.
Part-time and casual staff have been offered full-time hours to help meet staffing needs. A hiring campaign and partnerships with educational institutions have ensured we have enough staff so that we can maintain the level of care for residents. We continue to hire new staff in key roles, and we are also accessing redeployed City staff with key skills.
For safety reasons ,the homes are not currently accepting volunteers in the homes. At this time, we can meet care needs with available staff.