LATEST NEWS & UPDATES
June 8th, 2021
The announcement yesterday that the province is moving into Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen as of Friday June 11th is a welcome one, as we all look forward to enjoying our summer months. In addition to these provincial changes, there are a number of changes that are being made to the precautions currently in place in our LTC and community congregate sites related to visiting, absences and eye protection.
We are now seeing some evolving precautions for residents/clients and visitors based on being FULLY VACCINATED. (Fully vaccinated means you are 14 days post your second/final vaccine of the vaccine series.) Screening tables at our sites may be asking to see your COVID-19 vaccine documents as we work to implement these new Ministry directives. As always, we are keeping our website current with all updated information so please be sure to check the website frequently as additional modifications are expected as we progress through re-opening the province.
- As of June 9th, FULLY VACCINATED essential caregivers will no longer be required to wear eye protection during their visits. Eye protection is still a requirement for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated essential caregivers and all staff, students, volunteers and contracted workers.
- General visiting continues to be in place for outdoor visits. Please review the guidelines for general visiting here.
- Starting June 9th, physical distancing requirements will be adapted to allow general visitors and residents/clients to have brief hugs at their visits - regardless of vaccine status!
- If residents/clients and general visitors are both FULLY VACCINATED, close contact and hand holding is permitted during general visits.
- Residents and clients that cannot visit outdoors related to mobility or health status, will be permitted to have one general visitor indoors. That visitor will be required to complete rapid testing prior to the visit. These accommodations will be limited to individuals that meet this criterion and will be planned in collaboration with the care team at the site.
Resident and Client Absences
- Medical, palliative/compassionate and essential absences all continue to be permitted.
- Starting June 9th, FULLY VACCINATED residents/clients can now go on social and temporary (overnight) absences. For more information on the types of absences and criteria for planning an absence, please review the guideline document here.
Surveillance Testing (Rapid Testing)
- Starting June 9th, any staff, visitor, caregiver, student or volunteer that has previously been infected with COVID 19 will now be required to participate in rapid testing starting 90 days after their positive test result.
If you have any questions about the new precautions, please speak with one of the leaders from your site. We anticipate more changes in the days and weeks ahead as the province continues with reopening.
Take good care,
June 1st, 2021
Today is the end of the provincial “stay-at-home” order. Although this is welcomed news, there is not very much that will be changing with precautions until we enter the next step of the provincial reopening plan, anticipated to be June 14th, 2021.
We have been promised further direction from the Ministry of Health regarding visiting and absences. At this time, outdoor visits are going well. It is wonderful to see our residents and clients reconnecting with family, friends and essential caregivers! Please see our website for instructions for booking outdoor visits and for the guidelines for outdoor visitors.
Medical, compassionate and essential absences continue to be permitted for long-term care residents and clients living in our congregate sites. While social outings were not permitted under the province-wide stay-at-home order, the Ministry will provide further direction allowances for fully immunized individuals to participate in such outings now that the stay-at-home order is lifted. We will provide you with current information as we receive it.
Thank you for your ongoing support and take good care,
May 29, 2021
I hope that you are all doing well and that you are making the most of the weekend.
As you likely know, today marks the 8th annual Moving to Make It Happen event. This year, similar to last year, the awareness and fundraising event was held virtually so that we could adhere to all COVID-19 pandemic precautions. I am pleased to report that once again, a pandemic, could not stop us from not only reaching our goal of $50,000 but significantly surpassing the goal and inching towards $75,000. This year, our giving is wide spread! This is such an incredible achievement and could not have occurred without the strong support of all of our stakeholders.
From our clients, residents and family members to our staff, volunteers, friends of Thrive and sponsors, this accomplishment is a testament to your commitment to supporting our organizations. Thank you so much for being true ambassadors of our mission.
I would like to thank the Moving to Make It Happen Planning Committee for all of their work behind the scenes and for inspiring others to join the event. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a very special thanks and congratulations to Shari-Lee Srigley, Director of Development for championing this event and leading the charge. She has motivated all of us to strive for excellence, create teams and healthy competition across our sites and has done a great job in not only raising funds for much needed resources but also raised awareness of our organizations and those who we are privileged to serve.
Please join me in congratulating everyone on this achievement. Thank you for sending in your photos and videos on how you “moved to make it happen” so that we can share these on our social media platforms. I am honoured to serve with you and proud to be part of such an esteemed and engaged group of individuals.
Stay safe, we are rounding the corner - I wish you all the best.
May 21, 2021
We are so pleased that the province is seeing the progress being made in the fight against COVID-19. Yesterday government released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures. It has become very evident that vaccines are supporting this success and that the steps of re-opening are reliant on the vaccine rates of the adults in our province.
To align with this roadmap, we are permitted to reopen outdoor visits for general visitors to our long- term care and congregate community programs.
As with our consistent approaches to the management of the pandemic, we have taken care and caution to ensure that all changes to precautions are made carefully to ensure they are safe and successful.
Our teams are so excited to be working on plans to reconnect our residents and clients with loved ones for outdoor visits. With this news being shared with us today, our teams are already hard at work preparing the visiting spaces, scheduling staff and developing the processes needed to safely start outdoor general visits early next week!
In the coming days, we will be updating and sharing our updated visiting policies and resource materials which will also be posted on our website here
At this time, the following has been communicated as guidelines for outdoor general visits:
- Maximum of two general visitors at a time per resident in addition to essential caregiver(s).
- General visitors need to be actively screened upon arrival and should not proceed beyond entry points / areas in homes.
- General visitors do not need to undergo a rapid antigen test as their visit will be outdoors.
- General visitors need to maintain physical distancing and wear masks.
- Residents and clients should wear masks as tolerated.
Thank you for your support and patience as we prepare to relaunch outdoor visits connecting our clients/residents and their loved ones. You will be getting further details from your home, site or program shortly.
If you have received your vaccine already…THANK YOU!! If you are eligible for a vaccine have not yet booked an appointment, we do urge you to book so that we can continue to progress to reopening Ontario as safely as possible!
May 7, 2021
Early this week we received updated directives and guidelines outlining changes to some of some of our COVID-19 precautions. The Ministry of Health is working to ensure that all congregate settings and long-term care homes are operating safely while providing the greatest possible opportunities for maximizing resident and client quality of life.
The Ministry of LTC has provided us with foundational guidance and information to help interpret requirements set out by the government with respect to the pandemic. This guidance document sets out how our LTCHs and congregate sites can safely resume certain activities with precautions that are based on their overall immunization coverage rates at the site.
A summary of these changes include:
Active Screening for Visitors and Staff – Screening will only happen on entry to the site (no longer on exit). Temperatures are no longer required to be monitored for visitor and staff screening. Everyone is still expected to continually self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
Increasing Universal Masking for Residents and Clients – Residents and clients that can tolerate wearing a mask are encouraged to wear a mask (medical or non-medical) when at meals (and not eating), during personal care and while in common areas in the site. Staff should assist with mask application and removal when needed.
Promotion of the Vaccination Program – The provincial vaccination program has prioritized our residents, clients, staff and essential caregivers. We continue to support all residents, clients, staff and essential caregivers to receive their vaccine. We are starting to see changing precautions for individuals that are fully vaccinated* and sites that have reached certain rates of fully vaccinated residents, clients and staff. If you are not vaccinated, please ask questions about the vaccines and ask for support getting registered for a vaccine appointment. Also, please keep the home/site up-to-date with your own vaccine status. We are lobbying that staff and essential caregivers be prioritized for a shorter waiting period between first and second doses. #ThriveCrushingCOVID
*Please note that fully vaccinated means 14 days post vaccine series (second dose).
Physical Distancing and Physical Contact – Fully vaccinated essential care givers may have physical contact (hugging/hand holding) with fully vaccinated residents and clients provided appropriate IPAC control measures, like masking, eye protection, and hand hygiene are in place.
Vaccine Rate Dependent Restriction Removal – for sites that have fully vaccinated residents/client rates of 85% or higher AND a fully vaccinated staff rate of 70% or higher, some precautions can be alleviated. Again, fully vaccinated status is considered 14 days after receiving the second dose of vaccine.
Vaccine rates for the different sites will be communicated through the sites normal communication processes.
Essential Absences – Social absences are still not permitted under the province-wide-stay-at-home order. Residents and clients are able to resume essential absences. Essential absences are defined as going to the grocery store or pharmacy where another option is unavailable, or for outdoor exercise both on or off the immediate property of the site. Residents/clients going on absences must be provided with a mask, practice public health measures (physical distancing and hand hygiene) when outside of the home and be screened upon their return to the home.
We anticipate further updates to the visiting policy and other precaution changes when the province-wide-stay-at-home order is lifted. We will provide further updates at that time.
Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the safety,
Take good care,
Quality and Privacy Officer
April 16, 2021
I hope that this update finds everyone doing well.
I wanted to share some exciting news with respect to St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke and Idlewyld Manor. Several months ago, we applied for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to upgrade our Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems at our two long-term care homes. This funding is a cost sharing initiative between the federal and provincial governments. We received news today that our application was endorsed and we will be receiving up to $2.585M for St. Peter’s upgrades and up to $2.767M for Idlewyld’s upgrades. These projects will involve the installation of new HVAC systems to improve air quality and improve heating and cooling and will help maximize infection prevention and control throughout all area of the homes. We are so grateful to the federal and provincial governments for this much needed support.
“I am thrilled that the federal government was able to provide over $2 M to St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke and over $2 M to Idlewyld Manor, both a part of Thrive Group for a project that will install a new HVAC system to improve air quality and improve heating and cooling, and to help maximize infection prevention and control throughout all areas of the long-term care home. St. Peter’s and Idlewyld are crucial Hamilton institutions providing care and support to Hamiltonians when we are at our most vulnerable." Honourable Filomena Tassi, Min of Labour, MP for Hamilton-West Ancaster Dundas
“This investment will benefit many of the most vulnerable people in our community, providing them with the comfortable and safe living spaces they deserve,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook “Our government puts the safety and well-being of long-term care residents at the heart of everything we do.”
We will continue to provide you with additional information as we proceed with these projects. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to connect with Jennifer Banks at St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke or Bahar Karimi at Idlewyld Manor.
Please stay safe and have a good weekend.
April 13, 2021
I hope that everyone is adjusting to this next round of “shut down” and that you have been enjoying some of the warm weather over the past couple of weeks. I wanted to let everyone know that the Pandemic Committee continues to connect to receive up to date information from each of our 18 sites and to develop or refine plans to address any challenges.
I want to reassure you that we are continuing to assess the potential risk of every situation that presents itself and that we continue to be steadfast in our commitment to our clients, residents and staff. Our 3,000 clients and residents and our 1,350 staff deserve the best and this remains our number one priority.
As you know, we continue to conduct rapid testing on our staff and essential family caregivers at our long-term care home sites. This screening is a proactive strategy to identify people who might be contagious with COVID-19 but go unrecognized.
I also wanted to let you know that we are excited to inform you that most of our congregate, supportive housing and assisted living clients have now had an opportunity to be vaccinated. This marks another great milestone in our efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading at our sites.
I encourage everyone to sign up for a vaccination as the eligibility criteria allows. We are seeing more light at the end of this long tunnel and we truly appreciate all the support and understanding as we continue to commit to the health and well being of our residents, clients, staff and family members.
I want to reassure you that we have no further confirmed cases of COVID-19 across any of our 18 sites. We will continue to keep you informed of any new information as it becomes available.
Please continue to look after yourselves and stay well!
March 31st, 2021
Last year, we went into this long weekend with a sense of trepidation, not sure what to expect, or what our holidays were going to look like. Now, as we face the second Easter in this pandemic, it does not seem any easier knowing that our celebrations must still be limited so that we can keep ourselves and those we love safe and healthy.
Once again, I would like to thank you for all of your endless patience over this past year. As the first glimpses of spring bring some much-needed relief from the now all too familiar feeling of being stuck indoors, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep potential exposure as minimal as possible. I know it has not been easy and I understand that many of our staff will spend time working over this long weekend caring for our clients and residents. I also know that as family members, many of you will have different celebrations some virtual over this coming weekend.
As I write to you now, vaccinations are being administered across the country, with the most vulnerable and exposed among us being prioritized. We are in the beginning stages of defeating COVID-19, but we will get there! A few months ago, we started our #thrivecrushingcovid campaign to cheer on those who have been vaccinated and those who are eagerly awaiting their turn. Everyone has done an incredible job championing this campaign. For those of you who have been vaccinated, you are an inspiration to everyone for doing what is right and coming together to help us crush COVID!
Whether you celebrate Easter or simply recognize the coming of the new season, Spring represents a time of growth and rebirth, and never has this felt more true. In the days when this pandemic is nothing more than a memory, we will be able to share stories of this often difficult, sometimes inspiring and always incredible journey that we have taken together.
My hope for you over this long weekend is that you are able to find time to spend with your loved ones in whatever way you can. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Look after yourselves, look after your loved ones and look after each other.
March 18th, 2021
Today I am writing to you with some good news and an exciting update. The outbreak at York was declared over today. We are so proud of the team at York for demonstrating their strengths and commitment to the infection prevention and control practices. This outbreak was limited to a single case without any transmission or spread. As we move into a third wave of the pandemic, we all must continue to keep our diligence to the required precautions at the highest level. There is light at the end of this pandemic, but we are not there yet.
Thinking about the future, we have a big project starting! We are so excited to share that St. Peter’s Residence has been selected to move forward with an expansion to the home. Please read the update about this work here. We will continue to keep you up to date as the planning work begins.
Take good care,
Today marks one full year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since that time, this virus has spread throughout Canada and changed how we all live our lives. This has been one of the most difficult challenges we have had to face as a country, a community, and an organization. One of the most surreal outcomes of the pandemic has been watching our clients and residents maintain separation from their loved ones. I cannot express how grateful I am for your understanding, patience, and flexibility during this unprecedented event.
With vaccines now available, residents, clients, health care staff and populations of seniors in our community are eligible to take part in this life and pandemic changing vaccine campaign. Vaccines should be available to everyone in the coming months giving us hope and comfort. We continue to encourage everyone as they are eligible to get their vaccine and join us in our mission of #ThriveCrushingCOVID.
Once again, I would like to thank all of our staff from the bottom of my heart for the unwavering dedication you have shown to our clients, residents, and their families during this incredibly trying time. Adversity does indeed make us stronger, and I believe we have all proven that during this past year. As we forge ahead toward brighter days, we will never forget the challenges faced and lessons learned along the way. Words fail to express the pride I feel in knowing that our teams were not only able to stand up to this pandemic, but were willing to go above and beyond to uphold Thrive Group’s goals and values while doing so.
I wish you all a happy and healthy way forward,
March 5, 2021
I am happy to continue to provide you with updates related to the Thrive Group organizations’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 cases and the variants of the virus that are causing some concern to the public health experts. Our precautions and plans continue to adapt to ensure that we have all measures in place as we continue to be focused on the well-being, health and safety of our clients, residents, staff and loved ones.
As of today, rapid antigen testing is happening in both of our long-term care homes ahead of the mandated timeline. Rapid testing is done multiple times each week for those entering the home with results available within 15 minutes. This is a huge step forward in the prevention of transmission and outbreaks.
Our community programs are also conducting proactive surveillance testing of staff as an additional precaution to protect our clients, staff and the community. This is another example of Thrive Group organizations taking measures and precautions above and beyond the guidelines in place.
As a result of the surveillance testing, we were able to identify a positive staff case at our York site in advance of any identified symptomatic contacts. In consultation with Hamilton Public Health, we have declared an outbreak at that site. Clients living at that site are self-isolating and being monitored closely for the development of any symptoms. Staff continue to wear all necessary personal protective equipment and are taking all precautionary measures. We want to reassure you that we are handling this outbreak with the outmost caution and continue to implement all of the directives provided by the Ministry of Health and Public Health. We will advise you of any updates as they become available.
I am pleased to report that we remain COVID-19 free at 17 out of 18 of our sites. Please continue to take care, stay healthy and make the best of this upcoming weekend.
23rd February, 2021
I hope that you are doing well.
I am pleased to inform you that we have no outbreaks at any of our 17 sites. I want to thank the staff and essential caregivers for all the work that they have done over the past several months by working in collaboration and minimizing the risk of outbreaks. This continues to be a challenging time and we ask that you continue to abide by all the precautionary measures so that we can remain COVID-19 free at our sites.
Yesterday was an exciting day at our AbleLiving Services Binbrook site as many of our clients were able to receive their first vaccine dose. We look forward to the coming months when our remaining clients and staff receive their vaccines. In the meantime, please stay safe and we will, as always, keep you up to date through this platform.
18th February, 2021
I hope that this email finds you well and you are surviving this last bit of wintery weather.
It is hard to believe that we have been on this journey for almost a full year.
For a COVID-19 update for you today, I am pleased to inform you that our outbreaks at Aghabi and St. Peter’s have been declared over. We have one small outbreak at our Lakeside site and we are anticipating that this will be declared over in the next day or two. We have no outbreaks at any of our other 16 sites. This is a testament to the outbreak management and precautionary measures we have in place and to the dedicated group of staff and essential caregivers at our sites. Congratulations on a job well done!
As you are likely aware, vaccine availability will be increasing over the course of the next several weeks. This is incredibly exciting as it is a key way to protect one another and minimize the spread of the virus. I am happy to report that over 97% of our residents at St Peter's Residence at Chedoke and Idlewyld Manor have had their second doses of vaccine. We also know that the next phase will include clients at some of our congregate care settings.
The long-term care homes are continuing their planning and preparations for rapid-testing of staff, support workers and essential caregivers in the coming days and weeks.
Visiting guidelines can be viewed on our website. Please refer to our up to date information.
As always, I wish you all the best through these challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy.
5th February, 2021
Days are starting to get a bit longer as spring comes closer into sight. Similarly, we are seeing light on the horizon of the pandemic as hope from vaccines grows and access to rapid testing is starting in long-term care homes. New infection rates in the province are slowly decreasing however there is still significant numbers of individuals with COVID-19 in our communities.
As always, the well-being, health and safety of our clients, residents, staff and loved ones continues to remain our top priority at all Thrive Group of organizations. Our programs continue to work closely to follow all the directives and implement the precautions required to keep our residents, clients and staff healthy.
The outbreak at St. Peter’s Residence continues and involves one single resident case and one staff case at this time. The home continues to keep residents, staff and families up to date regularly and continues to closely monitor all residents and staff for signs of infection.
Lakeside Court in Mississauga has declared an outbreak involving one staff member. The outbreak status of our Mississauga, Aghabi Transitional site continues. Public health has supported testing for all staff and clients at those locations. The team is ensuring communication is maintained with all of the individuals impacted at those sites.
We reassure you that all our staff is extremely experienced in managing respiratory illnesses and that we are following all directions from the Ministry of Health and our local Public Health unit. We have rigorous infection management practices and processes in place throughout all our locations.
At this time, we want to acknowledge the unwavering courage and devotion of our staff in the provision of quality care to our clients and residents. Thank you for your on-going understanding and support during this difficult time. Please be assured that we are continuing to make decisions in the best interests of our clients, residents and staff to make sure that their health and safety remain our highest priority.
Stay healthy and safe.