At Riverwood Senior Living, we are taking every precautionary action possible to make sure our residents and their families are staying safe and healthy during this period of uncertainty. Below are some updates from the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA):
March 23, 2020
NEW: Chief Medical Officer's Directives on Residents Leaving Retirement Homes
Today, the Chief Medical Officer has issued a directive outlining new precautions and procedures for long-term care and retirement homes. The directive, to be implemented immediately, says that residents are no longer permitted to leave the home for short-stay absences to visit family and friends. Residents may go outside of the home but should remain on the home's property and maintain a distance of a minimum of two metres from other people at all times.
Further, wherever possible, employers should work with employees to limit the number of different work locations that employees are working at, to minimize risk to residents of exposure to COVID-19.
Homes are reminded that as a result of recent amendments to the Retirement Homes Act regulation, as outlined below, retirement homes must take all reasonable steps to follow the required precautions and procedures outlined in the Chief Medical Officer's directives for Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario.
Emergency Amendments to Retirement Homes Act, 2010 Related to Chief Medical Officer's Recommendations for Retirement Homes
On March 20, 2020, the province amended the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 regulation to require retirement homes' infection prevention and control programs to follow the recommendations and directives of the Chief Medical Officer to ensure the protection and safety of Ontario's seniors. Homes must also take all reasonable steps to follow any recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer directed at long-term care homes as they relate to COVID-19 specifically. This regulation took immediate effect. Read more.
Re-admission of Residents
Residents who are returning to the home from hospital, appointments or any other absence are required to be actively screened for COVID-19 as per the Chief Medical Officer of Health. If the resident fails the screening, they are to be placed in isolation in the home and the home should contact the public health unit for further instructions. The screening tool can be used as a guide.
Visitors to Retirement Homes
A reminder that Ontario's Chief Medical Officer has recommended that retirement homes and long-term care homes allow only essential visitors. In the context of retirement homes, essential visitors are defined as those who have a resident who is very ill or requires end-of-life care. These visitors must continue to be actively screened into these settings and are to be denied entry if they fail the screening.
The screening tool can be used as a guide. No other visitors should be permitted to enter these premises, instead they should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available. Read more.
ORCA COVID-19 Communications: Opt-In
During this unprecedented time, the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) has made their COVID-19/pandemic materials available to non-member retirement homes, free of charge. ORCA's COVID-19 materials are distributed through daily COVID-19 updates and weekly webinars.