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COVID-19 Updates



October 15, 2022 


 Dear Family and Friends: 


I am writing to provide you with important updates regarding Villa Colombo Toronto (VCT) and recent changes to our operations. On October 6, 2022, the Ministry of Long Term Care (MLTC) announced revisions to the COVID-19 guidance document for long term care homes in Ontario. These most recent changes expands MLTC’s plan to slowly lift restrictions previously put in place to address the spread of the COVID – 19 viruses. 


The following are the changes, which have been implemented at VCT and are now in effect: 


A. Masking 

Masks will continue to be required for long term care staff and visitors, however, visitors will not be required to wear a mask when they are alone with a resident in the resident’s room. Masks will be required if and when another resident, staff or other visitor enters the room. Children who are younger than two years of age are not required to wear a mask. 


B. Visitation 

There will no longer be a limit on the number of visitors a resident can have at any given time, unless in outbreak or in isolation, etc. VCT has revised its visitation policy to allow visitors without imposing restrictions on the number of visitors. VCT does however reserve the right to limit the number of visitors at any time if the number of visitors is seen to pose a safety risk to residents or staff, i.e., increased noise, over crowding, interference with other residents or care. 


C. Active Screening & Proof of Vaccination 

All visitors and caregivers will be required to continue participating in active screening upon entry to VCT and to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination (minimum primary series is required – 2 doses). 


Please note that vaccination proof is not required for outdoor visitors, children under the age of 5, and to anyone visiting residents who are receiving end-of-life care. 


D. Screen and Rapid Testing 

The routine testing of asymptomatic visitors will remain in place as set out below: 

  • an antigen test must be completed at least two times per week, on separate days, if you are up-to-date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses; or 
  • an antigen test must be completed at least three times per week, on separate days, if you are not up-to-date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses. 


For the purpose of meeting the asymptomatic screen testing requirements, “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines means that an individual has completed the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine and received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last 6 months, as set out below: 

If an individual has had confirmed COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days, they do not need to be asymptomatic screen tested, but must immediately resume asymptomatic screen testing after the 90th day from the date of their confirmed COVID-19 infection. Proof may be requested. 


Asymptomatic screen testing for visitors is not required in an emergency situation or in situations where these individuals are visiting or attending to residents receiving end-of-life care. 


E. Physical Distancing 

Villa Colombo continues to require physical distancing (a minimum of two meters or six feet) between individuals. In general, all individuals are encouraged to avoid situations where COVID-19 can spread more easily, i.e., crowded places.


F. Food & Beverage Sharing 

Visitors are permitted to eat and drink with the resident in their suite, in the garden area, in Sala Caboto spaces and in the family room located in the Fidani Wing. Visitors are not permitted to dine with the resident in the dining rooms on the Fusco Wing due to space constraints. 


In-door Visits for Non-Vaccinated Visitors 

In anticipation of the colder weather, garden visits may no longer be a viable option for our residents and their visitors. In accordance with the MLTC Directive related to COVID -19, and the resident Bill of Rights, VCT must ensure that residents are not unreasonably restricted from having visitors. As such, VCT has amended its current COVID-19 vaccination and visitation policy, to allow unvaccinated visitors to enter VCT and visit their loved one(s) for maximum of one hour per visit, in the designated area (Northwest side of Sala Caboto). All unvaccinated visitors must follow the following specific parameters, without exception: 

1. Booked the visit in advance by calling 647-326-1795; 

2. Participate in active screening at the entrance at 40 Playfair Avenue; 

3. Change their mask upon entry and wear a mask at all times during the visit (unless eating or drinking); 

4. Participate in rapid/screening testing at each visit and wait 15 minutes for the test results; 

5. Ensure physical distancing is maintained from other residents and families in the same space; 

6. Use the Sala Caboto washrooms only; and 

7. Enter and exit the designated Sala Caboto space through the rapid testing centre and not enter any other spaces while indoors. 


Please note: The resident(s) will be escorted to and from these visits by the staff. 

Vaccination Updates 

On October 6, 2022, VCT held a COVID–19 vaccination clinic for the residents. A total of 187 residents received the Moderna Spikevax Bivalent. On October 26, 2022, another clinic will be held for those residents who were not able to receive the Bivalent dose during the first clinic. 


On October 19, 2022, VCT will administer the Flu Shots to consenting residents. If consent has not been provided, and your loved one would like to receive the either the COVID–19 vaccine or the Flu Shot, please contact the nurse on the respective units. 


Heightened Awareness for Possible Elopement 

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all family members and visitors that residents with dementia, including responsive, exit seeking and wandering behaviours, live at VCT. To ensuring the safety of our resident, we ask that family members and visitors assist us in protecting our residents by notifying the staff on the unit if a resident is attempting to leave or follow them off the unit. Please do not enter the code on the key pad or share the code with residents. Residents who are able to leave the unit are provided the code or escorted. If you feel a residents appears to be lost or wandering, or appears to be attempting elopement, please advise security personnel or any staff immediately. 


Next Family Town Hall Date 

The next Family Town Hall meeting is scheduled on Thursday, December 8th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Please send your questions to info@villacolombo.on.ca by 12:00 p.m. on December 8th, 2022. To access the Family Town Hall, please enter https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88546327023 or dial 1-647-374-4685 Webinar ID: 885 4632 7023. In the event that there are significant changes to the MLTC or Toronto or Public Health Directives, which affect VCT, another letters will be sent out or a earlier Town Hall Meetings will be scheduled. 

December 1, 2022


Dear Family and Friends:


This communication is to provide you with some important updates and to share information about the Holiday Season. At this time we have no COVID cases at Villa Colombo Toronto (VCT) however, we are experiencing outbreaks related to other respiratory illnesses, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza A and Parainfluenza. Currently, the Fourth Floor Fusco and Fidani Wings are affected. To help us contain these viruses we are urging all visitors to wear their masks at all time and to remain vigilant with hand hygiene. If you’re visiting on a unit in outbreak, please note and follow the appropriate PPE requirements prior to entering your loved one’s room. We are strongly encouraging you and your loved ones to receive the influenza vaccination if you have not already done so. Although the vaccine cannot prevent you from contracting the flu, it will help reduce your symptoms and the risk of more serious complications.


If you have not already done so, please complete the Family Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback is very valuable to us. The deadline date for your submission is December 6th, 2022. If you need assistance with completing the survey, please email us at info@villacolombo.on.ca. We will arrange for someone to assist you. Please click on this link: Assist LTC Family Survey to access the survey. If you have smart phone or device use, you can also access the survey by using the camera app on your device, focusing on the QR code image, and following the prompts.


I am pleased to share that staff have been working hard to prepare for all Holiday festivities. The decorating, special events and program planning, craft making, and the Holiday meal planning is well underway. It is a true pleasure for all us to see VCT returning to some of our pre-COVID Holiday Season traditions. This year we are able to welcome back the residents’ families to join their loved ones at their Christmas parties and enjoy some great food, music and company. Each unit will have its own celebrations and events. Notices with the details of each party have been posted on the units and are also available on InTouchLink.


We know that there are some families who may wish to take their loved one(s) home during the Holidays. If you do plan to take your loved one(s) home, we ask that you assist us by advising the nurse on the unit of the dates they will be leaving and returning to VCT by December 19, 2022. Advance notice will help us plan for the unit and prepare any medications your loved one will need during their leave.


Family Update December 2022


We want to take this opportunity to remind families of our policy on gift-giving to our staff. To avoid any conflict of interest, our employees are not permitted to accept individual gifts or monetary gratuities from family members, residents or clients. While gifts to individual staff members are not permitted, gifts that can be shared and enjoyed by the staff are acceptable. If you are a family member who is interested in bringing a gift for the staff to enjoy, please inform the Manager of the respective unit or department who will ensure it is properly shared among the intended staff.


On Tuesday, December 6, between 10:00 am and 11:30 am, VCT will be conducting a Fire drill that will be observed by the Toronto Fire Department. The exercise will involve staff evacuating “residents” from one unit (3rd Floor Fidani). To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents on the unit, staff actors will be used to replace the resident for the exercise. If you are planning to visit during this time, we ask that you
follow instructions as you would for any other fire drill. If you are planning to visit on 3rd floor Fidani, we ask that you remain off the unit during the time that the drill is taking place. Please also note that we will be conducting a practice run of the drill in preparation for December 6 on Friday, December 2 from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


As friendly reminder, VCT’s last Family Town Hall meeting for 2022 is scheduled for Thursday, December 8th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Please send your questions to info@villacolombo.on.ca by 12:00 p.m. on December 8th, 2022. To access the Family Town Hall, please enter https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88546327023 or dial 1-647-374-4685 Webinar ID: 885 4632 7023.


On behalf of myself and the entire leadership team at VCT, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you and your families for your support over the past year and wish you all the best for the Holiday Season. We hope that you will have the opportunity to spend and enjoy some time with those you love.

Best wishes,

Toni Dell’Aquila 

Executive Director