Dear friends,

Further to previous notices and as promised, here is an update on our infection control efforts related to the current public health crisis and influenza season.

While Three Links still does not have a confirmed case of COVID 19 yet, the measures we announced previously here, here and here remain in effect until further notice.

Over the past few weeks we have received lots of appreciation from our Renfrew Collingwood neighbourhood – and beyond. This means a lot to us. Thank you!! Here are some examples:

Since our last update, long term care providers across BC have been responding to various Orders from public health agencies. These Orders feature many measures we have already implemented, particularly related to staffing, visitors and recreation programming.

In anticipation of new provincial Orders regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Three Links is implementing new procedures related to the use of masks, goggles, gloves and other PPE:

  1. Any staff providing direct care to a healthy resident is required to wear:
  • Eye protection (goggles), surgical mask and gloves.
  • Goggles and masks may be used for the entire shift. Wet or soiled masks must be replaced.
  • Gloves must be changed between each resident encounter
  • Hand hygiene to follow before donning PPE and after removing PPE
  • Each staff have been provided with their own personal set of goggles.
  1. Any staff providing care to a resident who is placed on droplet and contact isolation is required to wear:
  • Eye and mouth protection (disposable mask with visor), gloves and gown (disposable or reusable)
  • These items will be available on isolation carts outside the affected resident’s room.
  • Hand hygiene to follow before donning PPE and after removing PPE
  1. Activities within 2 meters of a healthy resident (feeding, medication management, transporting, walking down the hallway past a resident) is required to wear:
  • Eye protection (goggles), surgical mask and gloves.
  • Goggles and masks may be used for the entire shift. Wet and soiled masks must be replaced.
  • Gloves must be changed between each resident encounter
  • Hand hygiene to follow before donning PPE and after removing PPE
  • Each staff have been provided with their own personal set of goggles.
  1. Administrative staff not involved in direct care but may come within 2 meters of a healthy resident:
  • Must wear a mask with visor which can be reused if not soiled
  • Must wear gloves if the activity involves any contact with the resident
  • Gloves must be changed between each resident encounter
  • Hand hygiene to follow before donning PPE and after removing PPE

Like other care providers, we are concerned about a sustainable supply of PPE. That is one of the reasons we are working closely with Safe Care BC and the BC Care Providers Association. These sector Associations are meeting daily with the provincial government regarding PPE supply and allocation. Safe Care BC is also in regular contact with Health Canada and initiated Operation Protect to receive supply donations.

Contracted Health Services

In addition to the measures announced previously, here is an update on the status of our contracted health services:

1. All art therapy, social work, volunteer, and music therapy services are suspended until further notice – with the exception of clinical nutrition services and limited faith based support.

2. Despite the suspension of our regular programming, the recreation department will continue to operate and innovate to help connect residents and families.

3. The services of the Family Services Assistance Program have been made available to all independent contractors during the outbreak period.

4. For those contractors who may be experiencing financial hardship during the crisis, we are doing what we can to help.  In addition to the government programs being offered, we are able to provide up to $950 in temporary financial assistance to help cover any emergencies that may arise related to rent, utility and food costs.

Communications

Our Leadership Team continues to hold daily briefings, participate in Health Authority teleconferences and practice outbreak protocols. We are working to facilitate ongoing communication between residents and loved ones through phone calls, Facetime, etc. This includes expanded 7-day/week reception hours so we can connect calls all day and evening. Facetime is available from 9:00am to 5:00pm 7 days a week. Please call the front desk to book a date and time to Facetime with your loved one.

We have also initiated weekly teleconference calls for the Three Links Board and Family Advisory Council to provide updates, receive feedback and answer questions.

We will continue to keep you posted on our planning to protect the health and safety of residents, staff, contractors and volunteers. Thank you again for your ongoing patience and support. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (604) 434-7211.

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