Please note that due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the information and procedures listed below are subject to change hour by hour, day by day. Casa Dolce Casa will continue to provide families of residents with pertinent updates as it relates to their loved one(s).
The following information has been sourced from the World Health Organization, Ontario Public Health, ORCA, RHRA and as per the directives provided by the Ontario Chief Medical Officer. Please refer to the links included for source information.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses originate in animals and are known to be transmissible to humans. The family of coronaviruses have the ability of causing respiratory illnesses in humans. These illnesses can range from the common cold, MERS to SARS.
In the early weeks of January 2020, a new coronavirus was identified as causing pneumonia and/or flu-like symptoms in Wuhan, China. This novel respiratory illness has quickly spread around the globe. Common symptoms of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulties breathing. In severe cases (particularly in people deemed at risk and/or immune compromised), symptoms can cause pneumonia, kidney failure and in some cases death.
As of March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) as global pandemic. The situation is rapidly evolving and Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health, is closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance.
Who is most at risk?
Much like the common cold and/or flu, COVID-19 is spread from an infected person via:
- Respiratory droplets
- Close, prolonged contact
- Touching contaminated surfaces, then touching your face before washing hands
As per the Government of Canada, the following demographic is deemed at risk of developing severe complications, anyone who is:
- an older adult
- at risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer)
- at risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)
What measures is Casa Dolce Casa taking to prevent the spread of infection?
Casa Dolce Casa is only allowing essential visitors at this time. Essential visitors are those who have a resident who is very ill or requires end-of-life care, and those performing essential support services (e.g. food delivery, laboratory services/phlebotomy testing, maintenance, and other health care services required to maintain good health).
Visitors must pass active screening prior to being admitted.
Casa Dolce Casa is not permitting residents to leave the Home for short stay absences, unless for necessary medical appointments. Instead, residents who wish to go outside are being advised to remain on the Home’s property and maintain safe physical distancing.
Casa Dolce Casa is actively screening all essential visitors, new admissions, re-admissions, staff and people entering the Home. There is a screener posted at the entrance to conduct screening during business hours. Outside of these times, the doors are locked and all essential visitors/staff/people entering the Home must call the nursing cell phone to request entry. Visits and screening results are logged.
1) Have you been experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, difficulty breathing, fever, respiratory illness?
2) Have you been experiencing any of the following atypical symptoms:
- Unexplained fatigue/malaise
- Delirium (acutely altered mental status and inattention)
- Acute functional decline
- Exacerbation of chronic conditions
- Digestive symptoms, including nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
3) Have you or anyone you have been in contact with, traveled outside of Canada?
4) Have you been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID19, OR have you been in close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness?
All staff/visitors will be screened and temperature checked upon entry and exit (twice daily). All staff and essential visitors must wear surgical/procedure masks at all times for the duration of full shifts or visits in the long-term care home. All people entering the Home will be required to wear a mask for the duration of their stay.
Anyone that fails any part of the screening protocol or refuses to comply, will not be allowed to enter the building.
Active Screening for Residents
At this time, Casa Dolce Casa is still accepting new admissions.
- Admission and Re-Admissions: Screening of new admissions and re-admissions for symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19. All new admissions must be placed in self-isolation upon admission to the home and tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of admission. All new admissions coming from hospital settings must be tested prior to the transfer.
- All Residents: Will be subject to active screening, at least twice daily (at the beginning and end of the day) to identify if any resident has fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19. Residents with symptoms (including mild respiratory and/or atypical symptoms) must be isolated and tested for COVID-19.
- Visible signage reminding visitors to practice proper hand hygiene, proper sneezing/coughing etiquette and wear personal protective equipment if needed (such as masks)
- Hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment (masks) readily available upon entry to the building and throughout the public setting
Cleaning & Disinfection
- Housekeeping daily (removal of garbage, making beds, tidying up personal areas)
- Weekly cleaning of residents’ rooms (dusting, vacuuming, moping, washing sheets and towels, cleaning bathrooms and kitchenette area)
- Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned/disinfected twice per day (such as handrails, door handles, doorknobs, elevator buttons…etc.)
- Common areas (such as lobby and sitting room on each floor) are disinfected twice daily
- Duct cleaning and sanitizing is up to date, last done March 2020
How can family member(s) protect their elderly loved one(s)?
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses:
- wash your hands often with soap and water (lather and scrub for a minimum of 20 seconds) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- avoid touching your face (particularly eyes, nose or mouth)
- respect social distancing guidelines – stay home, only leave for essentials such as groceries and medications
To help your loved one(s) stay connected, Casa Dolce Casa is facilitating Skype calls on Mondays and Fridays (between 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM). Please contact the Reception office to book your appointment and for our Skype contact details.
Otherwise, continue to schedule phone daily calls with your loved one(s) in the Home. Encourage residents to participate in the Home’s activities (while respecting social distancing guidelines).