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Webinar ID: 885 4632 7023.
Any questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12:00 p.m.
June 13, 2021
Dear Family and Friends:
It has been a long road to recovery and we know and understand how difficult it has been for our residents and their loved ones since the start of COVID-19. With the recent changes announced by the Ministry of Long Term Care (MLTC), we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Approximately one month ago, residents started being able to visit with their loved ones in the garden. Soon after, fully vaccinated residents became able to leave the facility for short periods of time, for full days, and for overnight stays. Residents with mobility limitations or health conditions that preclude them from participating in outdoor visits, can now have one general indoor visitor at a time, visit them in their rooms. It has been a pleasure to welcome everyone back to Villa Colombo Toronto (VCT) and to see the residents reunite with their loved ones.
We are extremely pleased that we continue to have no positive resident cases at VCT and no exposures. Rapid swabbing combined with our high COVID-19 vaccination rates have proven very effective in keeping our home COVID-19 free. As always, we urge you to continue adhering to all applicable infection prevention and control practices when you visit and/or take your loved one on a leave.
VCT has now facilitated 6 on-site vaccination clinics for residents, staff and essential caregivers as part of our ongoing determination to increase our vaccination rate across the home. The response has been extremely positive, particularly among the staff and essential caregivers. Our vaccination rate for residents is currently at 95% for both the first and second doses. Our vaccination rate for staff is currently at 90% for the first dose and 82% for the second dose. Given that VCT’s vaccination rates now meet the criteria for the “total immunization coverage rate” (70% for staff and 85% for residents, as per the MLTC), some additional restrictions have been lifted. These include the elimination of the physical distancing requirements for residents who are able to gather in small-group social activities and gatherings within their cohort. Residents are also now able to return to full dining room service, with no sneeze guards on the tables and with four residents per table. These dining room changes are being implemented slowly and in phases.
The MLTC has issued another Directive that requires all persons who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 to begin participating in the rapid testing requirement, once 90 days has elapsed from the date of the positive COVID-19 test. As such, essential care givers, who had previously tested positive more than 90 days ago, must begin being rapid tested as part of screening on MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2021. This means like all other staff and essential visitors, the testing frequency will depend on the frequency of the essential caregiver’s visits. Generally, tests must be conducted every 48 hours to a maximum of three times a week for essential caregivers who visit daily. For those who visit less often, testing is required at each visit. All essential caregivers are required to proceed to triage after being screened. The test center staff will provide guidance as the required testing frequency.
VCT is pleased to announce a new partnership with On-Site Specialists for eye care services for our residents. Services include: complete routine eye examinations, glaucoma testing, eyewear selection, and referrals for further service, if needed. Please note that additional fees/costs apply in all cases. If you wish to contact the provider directly for more information, please call (905) 326-9900. Brochures are available at the screening desk and at the reception desk.
Our next Family Town Hall Zoom call is scheduled on Monday, June 28, 2021. Please send us any questions by 12:00 p.m. on June 28, 2021 at email@example.com. To access the Family Town Hall, please click here or by dialing 1-647-374-4685 webinar ID: 885 4632 7023.
We thank you again for your patience and support.
June 8, 2021
Dear Families and Friends,
As many of you may have already heard, there have been more changes made by the Ministry of Long Term Care to improve the quality of life for residents by expanding privileges and allowing more opportunities for family and friends to be with their loved ones.
In our last communique, you were advised that in accordance with Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes relating to visits, facilities were able to reintroduce general outdoor visits for their residents. Along with their two essential caregivers, residents are also permitted two additional outdoor guests. General outdoor visits will continue as previously communicated and families can book an appointment by calling 416-789-2113, ext. 2252 and leaving a message with the required information. Families and friends participating in general outdoor garden visits must wear a mask and maintain 2 meters of distance from the residents throughout the entire visit, but are no longer required to wear eye protection.
On June 2nd, 2021, the “Stay-at-Home Order” implemented by the Ontario Government April 17, 2021, expired. As a result, and again in accordance with Minister of Long Term Care Directive # 3, VCT is able to reintroduce “Short Stay and Temporary Absences” for fully vaccinated residents effective June 9th , 2021. Fully vaccinated residents will be able to leave VCT for short periods of time, full days, and for overnight stays. To book a leave for a resident the power of attorney (POA)/substitute decision maker (SDM) can do so by calling the unit of the resident and provide the required information. To assist us with planning, we ask families to provide a minimum of 24 hours notice when possible.
In addition to the accommodations for temporary absences, residents with mobility limitations or health conditions (i.e. factors unrelated to weather) that makes participating in outdoor visits highly unlikely or impossible, are now permitted to have one general indoor visitor at a time. A maximum of one essential caregiver may also be present during the visit. Active screening and rapid antigen testing apply for these visitors. The main contacts for residents who fit the criteria for this type on visit will be contacted and advised of the change.
We urge the families and friends of our residents to continue to adhere to public health all precautions and measures in the home, including good hand hygiene and masking. On behalf of the VCT team, I would like to thank all of our families and friends for all the on going co-operation and support. We will continue to monitor communications received from the MLTC and provincial government for changes that impact our home and adjust operations accordingly.