COVID-19 Updates

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Thank You Volunteers

We received a lovely donation of 700+ hand-made masks for our front-line-heroes for use when they leave after a hard day’s work. Many thanks to Ptbo Mask Makers and a group of curlers from the Peterborough Curling Club for the heart-felt contribution.


COVID-19 Update

We are facing the challenge of our lifetimes. The situation regarding COVID-19 has been unprecedented – and constantly changing: first the focus was on travel; then businesses and schools were closed; there have been massive lay-offs, with many others working from home; and then the focus moved to concerns about hospital resources and capacity. Most recently the focus has appropriately turned to seniors’ residences. New provincial directives are issued almost daily, it seems, as we fight this virus that represents such risk to our seniors and loved ones.

Our top priority, as always, is the health and safety of our residents and staff. All AON Homes are following the directives of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, the Ministry of Health, and Public Health authorities. We also access industry resources such as the OLTCA, the RHRA, and ORCA. As directives are given, we follow them. In addition, AON Homes have been ahead of the curve in many of the responses to COVID-19.

We must congratulate and celebrate our staff. With few exceptions our courageous staff continue to come to work to provide care and services to the residents we serve. We can’t say enough about their commitment and work ethic. We are so proud of our team and how they have pulled together, working tirelessly during these challenging times.

We thank our residents and their loved ones for the trust they have placed in us. We appreciate your patience and support, and your frequent kind words. Your ongoing support means the world to our dedicated and hardworking teams. We understand this is a stressful time. The inability to visit loved ones is heart-wrenching. For now, we ask you to stay in touch with your loved ones via the Home’s FaceBook page, or to arrange for a “virtual visit” via FaceTime or Skype.

We are doing our best to communicate, with updates in each Home at least weekly. If there is news or important information to be shared more broadly, it will be communicated through “@AON_responds” on Twitter, or through this page.

Precaution Measures at AON

The following list is not exhaustive, but it summarizes some of the measures we have taken to keep residents safe and to prepare for active cases of COVID-19:

  • We have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection in all Homes.
  • Staff are screened for symptoms, including the taking of temperatures, twice each day.
  • Residents are screened for symptoms, including the taking of temperatures, twice each day.
  • Visitor restrictions are in place. An exception is made for “essential visitors” … most notably those who have a resident who is dying or very ill. Essential suppliers (deliveries, essential maintenance, health care professionals) are exceptions.
  • All “essential” visitors are screened for symptoms, including the taking of temperatures, prior to entry. They will be denied entry if they do not pass the screening. Essential visitors seeing a resident who is dying or very ill must wear a mask and can interact only with that one resident.
  • We have best-in-class infection prevention and control policies and practices that are aligned with the COVID-19 directives from the Chief Medical Officer.
  • All staff have been trained, and retrained, on infection control practices, including the steps to take in the prevention of, and response to, cases of COVID-19.
  • We have adopted “social distancing” in all of our decision making. Events and resident activities have been cancelled or transitioned to one-on-one or small group activities, with social distancing and disinfection practices in place. Kitchen/dining room activities have been adjusted the same way, consistent with the direction of Public Health authorities and the Ministry of Health.
  • We have implemented FaceTime and Skype in each Home to enable residents and family members to have a bit of “live” interaction during this difficult time.
  • Universal Masking” was implemented for all staff, just in advance of a directive requiring this in all Homes in the province.
  • Supplies of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) continue to be more than adequate, with the prospect for resupply improving every day.
  • Staff are now designated to a single-site, helping to limit the risk of spreading germs.

There are numerous, more detailed steps we have taken, but the list above addresses the key themes. So far we are pleased with our level of preparedness. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly.

COVID-19 Response

If a Home experiences a case of COVID-19, special “outbreak” protocols will immediately go into effect, including isolation, deployment of “protective personal equipment” (PPE), staff cohorting, and many restrictive practices intended to limit the spread of the infection and keep all residents and staff members safe. All of this would be under the supervision of Public Health authorities. Should such an event occur, there would be special communication to the residents and families of the affected Home. We will also use the Twitter account “@AON_responds” to share news or important information, or visit this page.

Thank You

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged how we all work and live, forcing separation, keeping loved ones apart, and preventing us from doing many of the things we love to do. Every one of us has to think hard about the choices we make, being sure to make decisions that limit the potential spread of the virus and protect the ones we love.

We thank our staff for their courage, dedication, and their hard work. We thank our residents and their families and friends for their patience, their understanding, and their trust. These are unprecedented times, but we will get through them, together.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Executive Director or Administrator of your Home. The contact information is available on their individual web-pages. Or feel free to send an email here