As part of our pandemic plan, we continue to put in place concrete steps to protect our communities, but we understand the situation is evolving daily.
As a preparatory measure and to allow us to be able to continue to care for residents affected by COVID-19 while also ensuring the safety of other residents and team members, we have established regional designated care/cohorting areas within our communities to be used specifically to provide care to residents who get diagnosed with COVID-19.
The use of designated care/cohorting areas is a directive from public health bodies, including the Department of Health and Wellness (section 4.3 of the COVID-19 Management in Long Term Care Facilities Directive, April 6, 2020) and a best practice as per Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada. They have also been endorsed by our Corporate Medical Advisor and our Infection Control Specialist.
- Residents who are affected are moved away from residents who are not affected.
- They offer increased staffing support for residents who have tested positive.
- They provide an added layer of protection for residents who are not positive as these areas will be completely separated from the rest of the home.
- Employees who have self-identified to work in these areas will receive additional training and are provided with meals, scrubs, and access to alternate lodging if they choose to live away from home while working in the DCA.
- As with all of our care environments, employees working in these areas have full access to appropriate personal protective equipment, gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection.
- Employees working in these areas will care only for residents in the DCA and will self-isolate for 14 days following their last DCA shift before returning to their home site.
- We have additional measures in place to ensure no unauthorized personnel or residents enter the designated care areas
Several criteria have been used to help us select which area of our communities will become the designated care area. These include:
- A separate and dedicated entrance with immediate ground-floor access to the outside to eliminate the transportation of goods and people through the home and to allow team members to enter and leave from a separate entry than all other employees;
- A location with a physical space that can be separated from the remainder of the home, either through the reliance on existing fire doors or a temporary physical barrier; and
- As well as the availability of a sufficient number of suites to care for residents and store all necessary supplies for our team members.
Based on these criteria, the following sites were identified as regional designated care/cohorting areas:
- Harbourstone Enhanced Care (Sydney) – Wentworth Court
- Parkstone Enhanced Care (Halifax) – Flemming Court
- Cedarstone Enhanced Care (Truro) – Chapell Court
- Parkland Truro – Fergus Hall, A Wing
- Parkland Cape Breton – 3rd Floor
- Parkland Antigonish – Mary’s Court & Martha’s Court
- Parkland at the Lakes 1 & 2 (Dartmouth) – Medical Clinic at PAL 2
- Parkland Clayton Park (Halifax) – Aberdeen Hall
- Losier Hall (Miramichi) – Adult Day Centre area
- Parkland Fredericton (Fredericton) – Frederick Hall
- Faubourg du Mascaret (Moncton) – Vitalité Medical Clinic
- Parkland Saint John (Saint John) – Bloom Vitality Medical Clinic
- Parkland on the Glen (Mississauga) – Glenerin Inn
As a result, some residents will be required to be temporarily relocated to other areas of their community to make room for the designated care/cohorting area. Each site has identified where to best move residents as part of their plan and those impacted have been informed.
The designated care/cohorting areas will be fully staffed and offering focused care by Shannex employees who are prepared and supported by a corporate team.
We will be working with EHS in Nova Scotia and with Ambulance New Brunswick in New Brunswick to transport affected residents from their current Shannex, Parkland or Faubourg community to their site’s designated care/cohorting area as required.
COVID-19 is a contact/droplet virus that is of larger droplet size which typically falls quickly to the floor after being released into the air by cough or sneeze. That said, our ventilation systems follow strict preventative maintenance processes to ensure they are working optimally at all times. Our main Air Handling Unit Systems are located externally on all our buildings to constantly pull in 100% fresh air to supply the interior zones. The supply air travels throughout the buildings on one system, the exhaust air travels throughout the buildings on a separate system and the air is then exhausted to the building exterior.
All recirculation routes have been temporarily decommissioned to ensure no cross contamination. As the supply air passes through the system, it is filtered by grade filters (MERV 14 – these are typically used in hospitals and surgical rooms).
At this time, it is hard to predict for how long the designated care areas will be in place. We understand these are unprecedented times and we appreciate your support. Residents and families who have questions should contact their Site Management.
To learn more about the steps we are taking to protect residents and team members, CLICK HERE.