July 13 Update

It’s been a while since our last COVID-19 update, and I hope this message finds you well & healthy!

We continue to be COVID-19 free at Emmanuel Home. Before anything else, I want to acknowledge and commend all of our residents and staff who have picked up the mantle of tighter protocols and limited flexibility.  It’s not fun and it’s not by choice, but it’s necessary.  I believe the continued success in keeping COVID-19 at bay is a direct result of everyone’s collective hard work.

We are anticipating revised guidelines for visiting from Dr. Hinshaw’s office later this week.  I know that the enforcement of the current guidelines have led to some confusion and frustration, and I hope that the revised guidelines do give us some more clarity in how we should proceed throughout the rest of the summer.  The reality is that we are also looking ahead to fall and winter, when outdoor visits are just not feasible due to weather, so there are a number of factors at play.  In addition to the weather implications, there are so many differences between sites throughout the province, and I think the biggest challenge for the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s department is coming up with a plan that captures all of those differences appropriately.  As soon as we have the revised guidelines in our hands and have a plan for implementation at Emmanuel Home, you will hear from me with the update!

In the meantime, and in light of more changes coming in the next week or two, I do need to address one of the biggest challenges we’ve had.  Among the families and visitors that come on site to visit, there is growing frustration with the restrictions and protocols that have been imposed by Dr. Hinshaw’s office.  I completely understand frustration with the overall situation, but please try to avoid venting that frustration onto our front line staff who are working day in and day out to protect this place.  On the best of days, staff already have their hands full in supporting our residents.  The harsh comments and lack of cooperation from some visitors only adds to the fatigue brought on by this COVID-19 battle.  If you do have frustrations and concerns, please direct them to me via phone or email so that we can all help our front line staff keep focused on their work! I’m happy to discuss the reasoning and approach that we’ve been taking, and also always willing to take feedback.

A few things to remember:

  1. For every person that’s frustrated and annoyed that there are rules in place, there are others who are worried that not enough is being done.  Both sentiments are valid and need to be respected.
  2. Emmanuel Home has not imposed any restrictions that go above and beyond what is required by Dr. Hinshaw’s office.  In fact, there are many sites throughout the city and province who have much more strict visiting rules than we do.
  3. If you catch us in a moment of weakness or lack of clarity, please remember that we’re trying our best and our hearts are in the right place.  Please remember that every one of us here would never choose this all to be our new normal.  We don’t like it either!
  4. We all, including families and friends, have a collective responsibility to protect this place.  The web of contacts from just essential staff and our residents as they come and go is already a significant challenge, and every added person that makes contact beyond the designated visitors is simply another added risk to factor in.

I appreciate your understanding and patience in this time.  We will communicate the revised guidelines as soon as we can!