22 Apr

NOTICE: Residents, staff to be tested for COVID-19 at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home

At the direction of the Ontario government, all residents and employees at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home will be tested for COVID-19.

Public health units across the province have been directed to develop a plan to test all residents and employees of long-term care facilities. Broad testing will help officials understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in long-term care homes and inform future planning.

Currently, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home. Tests have been conducted according to provincial directives, with all results coming back negative.

"We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous effort of our staff in following best practices related to infection control and the measures they have taken to ensure the safety of our residents," says Kyle Cotton, Executive Director of Long-term Care.

Hastings Prince Edward County Public Health (HPEPH) and long-term care homes in the region will work together to prioritize the rollout of the increased testing. Priority will be given to homes where there are active outbreaks of COVID-19.

Several protocols to protect residents and employees have already been put in place at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, including: 

• Only essential visitors are permitted inside; this means only immediate family of ill or dying residents;
• Everyone entering the Home will be screened according to Ministry of Health guidelines, which includes taking the temperature of all employees and visitors, as well as answer questions including: Have you come in contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, do you have a fever, do you have a new or progressive cough.
• Masks are required for anyone in the presence of residents. Physical distancing is strictly monitored and enforced.
• Residents are monitored twice a shift for symptoms.
• Employees must be well in order to work. Anyone experiencing symptoms of any sort are sent home.
• Staffing has been restricted to employees whose only job is at the Home. 

Additional spaces are being used to spread out and keep the recommended physical distance. Staff are also engaging in more one-on-one activities to avoid large group gatherings. 

The Home has an appropriate amount of personal protecting equipment to keep staff and residents safe.

Up to date information on The County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is posted on The County's website: www.thecounty.ca/county-residents/covid-19.