To our valued community,
I am writing to you today with another update about our COVID-19 response. Over the weekend, we learned that three employees tested positive for COVID-19. This was more unsettling news for all of us.
The employees work at Arborstone Enhanced Care, a licensed long-term care home in Halifax, N.S. Harris Hall, a private retirement living residence in Dartmouth, N.S.; and Jubilee Hall/Concorde Hall, a private retirement living residence in Quispamsis, N.B.
I want to confirm the three employees were exposed to the virus outside our communities and are now in direct contact with Public Health and receiving support through our Occupational Health and Wellness team.
Public Health also continues to be involved with the clinical teams at each location and we are taking all appropriate infection control measures. To date, we have not been notified of any additional positive results among our employees and there are no cases of COVID-19 among residents in any of our communities.
We understand that our commitment to communicating openly with our valued community will sometimes cause you to have questions and concerns. We want to assure you that we appreciate how engaged our community is and will always do our best to get you the information you need.
As a result of questions we received in response to information shared this weekend, we want to provide more details about the important steps we have taken to protect our communities. A summary of all of our COVID-19 response measures is found on Shannex.com.
Employee screening protocol and masks worn by team members: All Shannex, Parkland and Faubourg team members participate in advanced screening protocols before entering the workplace for each shift. These are consistent with directives issued by provincial public health bodies. We have added temperature checks for employees arriving for their scheduled shifts and have rolled out a new protocol for employees to wear non-medical masks in our homes when they are working. This has been in trial since last week at several locations and should be fully operational very soon across all locations. These same protocols also apply to all agency staff who must come into any of our buildings.
When an employee receives a positive diagnosis for COVID-19: Public Health immediately moves to isolate the person with the confirmed diagnosis and those with whom they have had contact. Public Health directs actions and care provided to the employee and moves very quickly to reach out to any person who has had contact with the individual and to provide clear direction on what to do. Public Health also provides direction for which residents or team members might need to be tested as a result of being in areas where these employees worked.
Shannex’s contact tracing and other precautions: Shannex’s Infection Prevention and Control Specialist and Occupational Health team lead an additional thorough contact tracing process. They identify any team members and/or residents who had contact with these employees and provide clear direction and support. This can include placing some residents in isolation or under observation out of an abundance of caution.
Communicating with residents and families: You will soon receive detailed communications from our Medical Advisor and regional leadership to help explain the procedures we will follow if we have a resident with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in any of our locations.
The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving daily. That’s why our COVID-19 Response Team meets every day to review our precautionary measures and make updates as needed.
We will continue to practice open communication when we have a case of COVID-19 in one of our communities and provide regular updates to residents and family members.
If you have additional questions, I encourage you to contact a member of the management team at your Shannex, Parkland or Faubourg community. They look forward to speaking with you at any time.
We are in this together.