LATEST NEWS & UPDATES

logo

December 7th, 2022

Hello everyone,

We are only a couple of weeks away from the holidays and infections are already taking full advantage of opportunities to mix and mingle in the community. Layering the COIVD-19 pandemic with an Influenza epidemic on the heels of a major RSV surge, we are seeing more and more long-term care homes, community programs and hospitals show up on outbreak listings. Local children’s hospitals are overwhelmed and schools are seeing epic levels of absences. Cases of Influenza and COVID-19 are expected to soar in the month of December. We are asking that all of you, our stakeholders support the efforts to keep our residents, clients and staff healthy and safe.

This message today comes with a big plea to get vaccinated for Influenza and COVID-19. We are asking all residents, clients, staff, families and loved ones to get immunized.

The INFLUENZA VACCINE is a GOOD MATCH this year for the circulating strain. Influenza vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness caused by Influenza viruses.

The COVID-19 VACCINE has been a GAME CHANGER in the pandemic in that it has significantly reduced the impact of serious illness and death linked to COVID-19 infections.

Local pharmacies book appointments and some accept walk-ins. Check the pharmacies in grocery stores, big box stores and some of the smaller independent ones too! We also have the GO VAXX bus coming to our Binbrook site that is providing COVID-19 vaccines – available to anyone on December 9th from 12 to 5.

Both vaccines take about two weeks to offer protection, so please get your vaccines as soon as possible so that you are bringing your best immunity to the upcoming holiday festivities!

Stay well and take care,

signature

Steve Sherrer

CEO

logo

November 18th, 2022

Hello everyone,

Staying consistent is not something that this pandemic has done. Continually over the past two and a half years we have adapted and shifted related to the changing circumstances caused by COVID-19. Unfortunately, our health care system and all of us are plagued with a strong resurgence of two additional viruses, Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Once again, the hospitals are overloaded with patients needing acute and intensive care, and a large population of this is sadly now children.

Early this week Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, issued a strong recommendation for Ontarians to wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As you know, masks continue to be required indoors for staff, visitors and others entering our homes. While not required, masks are strongly recommended for caregivers and visitors when they are alone with clients and residents in their rooms.

Dr. Moore also stressed the importance of continued screening, testing, and rigorous IPAC practices, and ensuring that all residents and clients are offered the COVID-19 bivalent booster and seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended that residents, clients, staff and visitors receive both vaccinations, which can be safely administered at the same time, as high uptake is key to preventing severe illness amongst our vulnerable population and ensuring our workforce is healthy and available to provide care.

Some key reminders at this time:

  1. Get your Influenza vaccine if you have not already.
  2. Obtain your Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible (90 days after your last vaccine or infection).
  3. If you have ANY respiratory symptoms at all (even if you test negative for COVID-19) – do not visit or attend any of our sites. A “little cold” for you may be life threatening to others.

We will be modifying our COVID-19 testing protocol over the next week that continues to require daily testing for all staff and visitors. We have seen several cases of re-infection in the 90 days post COVID-19 infection, so we have decided to resume daily rapid testing for staff that have a resolved infection. Visitors and caregivers are also welcome to resume daily rapid testing after recovery from a COVID-19 infection.

Everyone entering our sites has a shared responsibility to do what they can to protect our residents, clients and our dedicated staff. Our teams continue to practice and hone their skills in outbreak prevention and management. We utilize our supply chains and resource management to always ensure sufficient levels of PPE and infection prevention and control supplies.

Take care and stay well,

signature

Steve Sherrer

CEO

logo

October 13th, 2022

Hello everyone,

On the heels of a beautiful fall weekend and reflecting on what we are thankful for, there are a number of things that come to mind in terms of the progress made in the fight against COVID-19. The vaccine has been an incredible game-changer to the outcomes experienced by residents, clients, staff and the population as a whole. As the world continues to find the right balance in the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, we received some new guidelines for COVID-19 precautions late last week from the Ministry. We will be working to have most of these changes in place by Friday October 14th. Below are the highlights of the changes we are working to implement.

Staying “up-to-date” with vaccines – We continue to encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines. All adults over the age of 18 are eligible to obtain the bivalent vaccine 6 months after your last vaccine (or COVID-19 infection). Health care workers, essential caregivers, residents and clients are eligible 3 months after their last vaccine (or infection). Please check your eligibility and continue with your vaccination schedule. We also encourage everyone to obtain their seasonal Influenza vaccine as well!

COVID-19 Vaccine requirements continue – Our vaccine policy remains in place for staff and the visiting policy continues to outline COVID-19 vaccine requirements for indoor visitors and caregivers.

Self-Monitor with attention - Paying close attention to how you are feeling is very important. A “cold”, a scratchy throat, some new nasal congestion or even additional fatigue could be an indication of COVID-19 infection. We have had several incidents where someone has tested positive on a rapid test and then will identify that they in fact had a symptom(s) on the list of COVID-19 symptoms.

Screening –Active screening by a screener continues to be a requirement for all visitors and caregivers. We may be working to modify the screening processes for staff based on the changing guidelines in the coming weeks.

Rapid testing – We have decided to continue to require daily rapid testing for all staff and visitors entering our homes as we continue to identify positive cases regularly through this approach. We continue to encourage the use of the most accurate sample collection that includes swabbing inside the mouth (or the throat) in addition to the nose.

Mask use by caregivers and visitors – We continue to require universal masking at all programs and homes that provide care and services. The Ministry continues to recommend (but no longer requires) caregivers and visitors to wear masks when alone in a resident/client room (1:1 scenarios). This would also include eating/drinking in resident/client rooms. If the resident or client is in a shared room, alternative accommodations will need to be considered and masks must be worn. Visitors must wear masks in all other areas inside of the home or when any staff are present in the resident/client room. Masks are no longer required for outdoor visits. Staff masking is still required at all times.

Visitor limits – The Ministry has lifted their limits on numbers of visitors permitted to visit at a time. Each program and site has reviewed visiting limits that are permitted to optimize and support physical distancing. That information will be shared directly from the program you are a part of.

Physical distancing – Is still very much encouraged. Residents/clients, staff and visitors are encouraged to continue to practice physical distancing and urged to avoid situations like crowded places in which COVID-19 may spread more easily.

Isolation & Testing of Residents & Clients – Several changes to the precautions have been made to decrease the impact to residents and clients related to isolation and testing. The changes are as follows:
Post absence - isolation is no longer required unless the resident/client is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19
Admission/readmission/transfer – isolation and testing is not required unless coming from an outbreak site
Close contacts – residents/clients that are a close contact of a person with COVID-19 are no longer required to isolate, unless they have symptoms or they are the roommate of someone positive with COVID-19

These precautions will take some adjusting for everyone. The approach to COVID-19 is changing and finding that balance of caution and normality is the goal. Our dedicated staff continue to practice and hone their skills in outbreak prevention and management. We utilize our supply chains and resource management to always ensure sufficient levels of PPE and infection prevention and control supplies.

Take care and stay well,

signature

Steve Sherrer

CEO

Our Stories



Visit us on Facebook to keep up with all of the latest stories from Thrive Group's staff, clients, residents and their families.