I hope this email finds you well! I’m pleased to let you know that we continue to be COVID-19 free at Emmanuel Home. Even though this is a season of rigorous protocols and frustrating restrictions, we do thank the Lord for His continued faithfulness.
We have received an updated Public Health Order from Dr. Hinshaw’s office. I want to summarize the message, as well as share the communication that will be sent to our residents today (see attached), so that you are up to speed on everything. I apologize in advance for how much information this is going to contain!
Here is an excerpt from the latest Public Health Order:
• It is recommended that residents not participate in unnecessary outings. However, they may choose to do so as activities open up in the community. Should a resident choose to leave for reasons
other than necessity, the operator must advise the resident of their responsibility to:
o Maintain physical distancing;
o Wear a mask at all times and ask anyone you may be with to also wear a mask;
o Ensure safe transportation
o Maintain good hand hygiene; and
o Inform the resident that they are subject to Health Assessment Screening upon re-entry.
This is a subtle, but significant, change in the directives. Our message here is still very clear in that we do not recommend any non-essential activity. However, we realize that the restrictions and limiting of personal freedom and decision-making has been difficult. As a family member, we are asking that you support the same message in making decisions about activities off-site. Please remain vigilant. In addition, if you do interact with a resident off-site, please be clear in the responsibilities we all have in meeting the expectations of distancing, masking, etc.
In terms of ‘safe transportation’ please note the following, taken from the Public Health Order:
• Any transportation must be done as safely as possible. Operators must communicate the following Safe Transportation expectations to residents and families as appropriate. Residents, families and visitors are responsible for contributing both to their own safety and to the safety of the other residents and staff at the site to which the resident will return.
Transportation within private vehicles (e.g., if resident drives self or when a visitor or family member picks up a resident)
o The resident or visitor/family member will ensure that the vehicle has been cleaned and disinfected prior to the resident entering, with focus on high touch surfaces (e.g. handles, steering wheel, window controls, armrests, seat belts, etc.)
o Driver and all passengers must be masked
o The driver and resident/passengers will sit as far apart as possible, minimizing the number of passengers in the vehicle (e.g. one driver with resident sitting as far away as possible)
Please note: The Public Health Order regarding on-site visits has not changed. There is still a maximum group size of 3 (including the resident(s)), and the rules of 6 ft distancing, masking, and scheduled hours still remain.
Here on-site, we have re-opened our dining room, and will look to open the hair salon in the next week or so. Strict rules remain in place in terms of PPE, distancing, and group size within Emmanuel Home, but we will work within those rules to slowly ramp up our activities and social events.
All of the information can be overwhelming. Concerns about the risks of re-opening are legitimate. Frustration with restrictions that remain in place is genuine. As we continue to walk this line of providing the best care possible for all of our residents, we appreciate your continued understanding and support. We are all in this together!