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Update on COVID-19 outbreak among H.J. McFarland Memorial Home staff

January 5, 2022

There are five lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst the staff at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, as of Tuesday, January 4.

The staff members contracted COVID-19 through community spread and not through contacts at the Home. The staff members who have received positive tests have not been inside H.J. McFarland Memorial Home for several days. H.J. McFarland Memorial Home continues to work with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health to identify possible contact and follow provincial guidance for responding to COVID-19 in long-term care homes.

Residents are receiving the same level of quality care at this time. With the constant testing of staff and caregivers, and the confirmation that those staff with COVID-19 did not bring it into the Home, residents are no longer required to isolate themselves in their rooms. Small group programing and communal dining have resumed in designated dining rooms, with residents remaining in cohorts by unit.

While health-care staff shortages are a constant reality, H.J. McFarland team members have filled in for colleagues who are required to isolate. In addition, the municipality has redirected staff resources where appropriate to the Home from municipal buildings that are closed due to provincial directives. We continue to monitor the staffing needs of the Home.

Under provincial regulations, only essential visitors and caregivers are permitted to visit the Home at this time. Essential visitors are people who meet an essential need of residents that could not be adequately met if the person does not visit the Home. A caregiver is a type of essential visitor who provides direct care to meet the essential needs of a resident. Visit the Government of Ontario website for more information about essential visitors and caregivers.

Essential visitors and caregivers must register with H.J. McFarland Memorial Home in advance of a visit. If you are not registered, call 613.476.2138. Any essential visitor or designated caregiver experiencing symptoms of a cold or fever should avoid visiting. Essential visitors and caregivers must also meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test upon entry to the Home, unless they had a negative test the day before.
  • Provide proof of COVID-19 fully vaccinated status, unless they have a valid medical exemption or are attending to a resident in a palliative end-of-life situation. Caregivers were required to have a first dose by December 20, 2021 and all required doses to be considered fully vaccinated by February 21, 2022. In the interim, designated caregivers who are not fully vaccinated would need to restrict their visit to the resident’s room.

The health and safety of all staff and resident is the top priority for H.J. McFarland Memorial Home. Enhanced screening and testing procedures already in place will continue. Staff will update any family members directly should there be any concerns about their loved one’s care.

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