H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is taking extra precautions in order to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term care home.
“While we recognize the importance of residents connecting with their caregivers and support workers, we are urging people to be mindful of the provincewide shutdown and stay-at-home order by only visiting if absolutely necessary,” says Kyle Cotton, Executive Director, H.J. McFarland Memorial Home.
H.J. McFarland Memorial Home has asked caregivers and support workers to postpone all visits to the Home during the provincewide shutdown. If they do opt to visit, they cannot come from outside the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health region. This change is line with the stay-at-home order and is supported by Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. Caregivers and support workers must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the past week. People who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 must be cleared by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health as no longer being infectious.
During the provincewide shutdown, general visits, both indoor and outdoor, and non-essential short-stay absences are temporarily cancelled. Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds if the resident is very ill or palliative.
People entering the Home will be greeted and screened by members of G4S Security beginning next week.
“Using an outside third-party contractor will ensure that our skilled workforce is meeting the care needs of the residents,” Mr. Cotton says.
G4S Security staff will be dedicated to H.J. McFarland Memorial Home and undergo the appropriate screening and test negative for COVID-19. They will conduct the active screening process of staff and visitors. They will ask visitors to provide evidence of their negative COVID-19 test result as directed by the ministry and ensure that visitors are aware of and following the COVID-19 protocols when at the Home.
Neeta Hansrajh, a personal support worker (PSW), was the first H.J. McFarland Memorial Home staff member to receive the COVID-19 vaccine last week. Home staff are getting the vaccine at a clinic set up at Kingston General Hospital.
H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is following the public health guidelines for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program to residents. A specific date when residents will start to receive the vaccine is not known at this time, but it is anticipated to happen within the next month. H.J. McFarland Memorial Home has begun the process of obtaining consents to ensure it is prepared to distribute the vaccine once it is available.