With the Province moving into Stage 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen plan on Friday July 16th comes significant changes that will impact some of our facility protocols that have been implemented.

The new directive changes include the following:

  • Rapid Antigen Testing is no longer required for asymptomatic, fully immunized individuals (staff, visitor, or otherwise).
    • A person is considered fully immunized if they have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series) and they received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to entry.
    • Proof of full immunization (both doses) must be provided before entry into the facility. People can prove they are fully immunized by showing the physical or emailed receipt that was provided to them at the time of vaccination. Vaccination receipts can also be downloaded or printed through the Provincial Portal at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-booking-support#vaccination-receipts
  • For all those requiring Rapid Antigen testing, the frequency for testing has now changed to every 3 days. However, we still will accept a proof of a Negative PCR every 7 days if you are unable to attend a clinic.
  • All individuals entering the facility ages 2 and up must follow the testing requirements. Parental consent is required for minors (individuals under 18 years of age) that undergo testing. If consent is not given and/or testing is refused, the individual is not permitted to enter the home.
  • Outdoor visits will still be available for those visitors who do not wish to receive a Rapid Antigen Test. Outdoor visits with greater than four visitors need to be coordinated ahead of time to ensure the proper setting is available for larger groups
  • Essential Care Partners do not need to schedule their visits. A maximum of two Essential Care Partners  may visit indoors at one time
  • General visitors must still coordinate their visits through our Lobby Deputies.
    • Main Site: 705-674-2846 ext.2572
    • Clarion: 705-280-7052 or 705-806-0390 ext. 301 or 401
    • Main site can accommodate 2 general visitors indoors at one time. However due to physical restraints, the Clarion can only accommodate 1 general visitor indoors at one time.
  • Active screening is still in place for all who enter the facility and for those visitors taking part in outdoor visits.
  • Eye protection is no longer required to be worn by visitors or staff unless in a room that is isolated under droplet precautions.
  • Universal masking is still in place for all people entering the facility and for the duration of indoor and outdoor visits by visitors.
  • Requirements contingent upon facilities immunization coverage rates of 85% patients and 70% staff fully immunized have been removed
  • As long as the facility is not in outbreak, and a patient is not symptomatic or on isolation protocol, all absences/LOA are permitted from the facility, regardless of immunization status and they may leave the home for temporary absences, which includes absences that involve two or more days and one or more nights for non-medical reasons. Prior approval by the facility is required for multiple day and overnight absences.
    • For fully immunized patients being absent from the facility for two or more days and one or more nights, they must have a PCR test upon their return and isolated until a negative test result is received
    • For patients who are not immunized or partially immunized, and are absent from the facility for two or more days and one or more nights, they must be isolated for 10 days upon their return, with a PCR test conducted upon return to facility and on day 8 after return to the facility.
    • The Facility will provide a medical mask to the patient (as tolerated) and remind them to follow public health measures, such as physical distancing and hand hygiene, while they are away from the facility. With this in mind, patients should wear medical masks (as tolerated) and follow public health measures during an absence.
  • Recreational Therapy off-site excursions for patients, regardless of immunization level, may resume.
  • Activities involving singing and dancing may resume within the facility.
  • Patients will be monitored for symptoms once daily
  • Although the return to communal dining for patients has been permitted with these new Directives, the facility will not be changing the current dining model as of yet. We will be taking a more gradual and cautious approach to returning to communal dining over the next few weeks or so.

These steps forward will be very beneficial for patients, families, and staff alike. Although our COVID case numbers have decreased dramatically both provincially and locally, we must still ensure we do our best to keep our patients safe and healthy. Please adhere to all of the recommended measures for public health and safety when in the community including wearing a mask, proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, and respecting guidelines for social gatherings.

Thanks again for all that you do for those staying and working at St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, and enjoy your summer.