For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death or a pandemic us do part. Who could have guessed in 1949 the need to add an additional barrier to such a classic wedding vow. On Monday May 11th, Ida and Clary Gatien celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. Ida is a resident of Villa St. Gabriel Villa in Chelmsford. Before the province shut down all non-essential visitations to long-term care facilities Ida’s husband Clary would visit daily, arriving at 4 p.m. to spend the dinner hour with his wife. Hearing the news of the upcoming anniversary the Life Enrichment staff of St. Gabriel’s Villa decided to make this a window visit no one would forget. Staff decorated the visiting window at St. Gabriel’s Villa, purchased flowers for Ida and invited Ida’s care workers down for a sparkling beverage to toast the special couple. Clary was able to deliver his card and read his wife a very special anniversary wish. An anniversary certificate was also presented to both Ida and Clary from Villa St. Gabriel Villa.
When asked what the secret to a long successful marriage was Clary shared that he simply found a good woman; very loyal and dedicated to her family and the church.
In this unprecedented time it is uplifting to witness the amazing staff in long-term care who more than ever are going above and beyond to keep families connected and residents engaged!
From left to right: Claudette Lacasse, Director of Care, Donna-Lee Crowe, Human Resources Coordinator, Ray Ingriselli, Site Administrator, David Long, Chaplain, Terrie-Lynn Jolette, Social Worker
From left to right: David Long, Chaplain, Mary Carriere, RPN, Claudette Lacasse, Director of Care
Management at Villa St. Gabriel Villa wanted to treat their hard-working staff this week so they dressed up and trolleyed from neighbourhood to neighbourhood delivering frozen treats to the staff’s delight. “We are so fortunate to have a dedicated and loyal staff who are willing to go above and beyond during these difficult times. On behalf of the residents, we thank you!” stated Ray Ingriselli, Site Administrator.
As a pure act of kindness, Johnathon Gillis and his family decided to make home made hand sanitizer for residents and staff at St. Joseph’s Villa. The special delivery package came with a heartfelt note from their daughter (see below).
“In these uncertain times, this thoughtful gift for our residents and staff is heartwarming and brings a tear to the eye.” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO/Administrator. Thank you to the Gillis family for helping keep the residents and staff at of St. Joseph’s Villa safe. It is truly appreciated!
In a display of strength and solidarity, staff and patients from St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre showed their support to their colleagues and to the residents of St. Joseph’s Villa who are currently in a COVID-19 outbreak.
“This act of kindness brought tears to everyone’s eyes and made the St. Joseph’s Villa staff and residents feel grateful to be part of such an amazing St. Joseph’s family. We are so fortunate to have such amazing staff working at both facilities. They are truly rock stars!” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO / Administrator.
St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, a 64-bed Rehabilitation Hospital and St. Joseph’s Villa, a 128-bed Long-Term Care home are co-located on the Village of Care site on South Bay Road. Both are distinct operations, with separate entrances and separate staff.
Today, Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Heath Centre confirmed that an outbreak has been declared at St. Joseph’s Villa long-term care home in Sudbury. Ministry direction requires a COVID-19 outbreak be declared with a single laboratory confirmed case in a resident or staff member. In this case, one staff member tested positive and is under active follow up with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
“St. Joseph’s Villa is working closely with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to ensure all measures are in place to protect staff and residents. We want to assure staff, patients, and families that the risk of infection in our facilities remains low,” said Ms. Palkovits. “None of the residents who were in contact with this employee is symptomatic and all are being tested. Residents continue to be isolated in their individual room. We are relieved to hear our staff member is no longer experiencing symptoms and is safely self-isolating at home,” said Ms. Palkovits.
“This is the first instance of a confirmed COVID-19 case being linked to a long-term care or retirement home in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “There are no cases among residents in the Villa,” added Dr. Sutcliffe
“With the declaration of an outbreak, additional control measures are put in place and overseen by an outbreak control team. In this instance, this includes the priority testing of identified residents and staff members, in addition to the already stringent COVID-19 protection action in place as required by provincial orders and guidance,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
Actions taken to date
As the facility cares for a high-risk population, St. Joseph’s Health Care has proactive policies and evidence-based practices in place to prevent any potential spread of infection. As part of precautionary measures with any respiratory outbreak in a long-term care home, all residents all residents are in isolation, in their own rooms, until further notice.
All St-Joseph’s Villa residents are being tested for COVID-19.
All St-Joseph’s Villa staff who were in close contact of the case are being tested for COVID-19.
All admissions to St. Joseph’s Villa have been put on hold.
Visitor restrictions have been in effect since the beginning of March.
Staff and residents are practising physical distancing within the home.
Staff screening occurs at the beginning and end of shifts, including temperature checks and all staff and essential visitors wear masks.
Residents are being assessed three times a day for symptoms of COVID-19. This includes temperature checks.
Case management and contact tracing
When Public Health Sudbury & Districts receives a report of a positive COVID-19 test result, staff follow-up with the individual as soon as possible. Public health professionals discuss the test results with the individual and explore possible exposure settings as well as close contacts of the case.
At the same time that Public Health conducts follow-up with confirmed cases, staff also begin the process of contact tracing. Through this process, Public Health identifies people who may have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 during the period of time when the person may have been infectious.
The purpose of identifying contacts is to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Close contacts are advised of important direction such as testing, self-monitoring, work-related direction, or self-isolation, depending on the specific circumstances.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate, then contact an assessment centre or use the online self- assessment tool to see if you need to seek further care.
For more information on how Public Health conducts follow-up after a positive test result, self- isolation, self-assessment, and assessment centres visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
705.522.9200, ext. 484 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200)
St. Joseph’s Villa of Sudbury Tanya Gil-Alfau 705.662.7500, ext 2104