RE: Vaccine Passport
Effective Thursday October 28th 2021, all visitors entering our building will require the newest COVID vaccine passport which includes the QR scan access. If your card cannot be scanned upon entry you will not be permitted in our building. You will also need to provide another piece of identification (driver’s license, health card etc.)
Thank you for understanding & keeping our residents safe.
Valley View Management Team
TO: Long-Term Care Facilities
FROM: Paula Langille, Director, DSLTC
DATE: October 4, 2021
RE: Vaccination Requirement for Visitors to LTC
Thank you for your patience as we work to clarify all the details of the Phase 5 changes to Long-Term Care that come into effect today, October 4, 2021. We anticipate that the COVID-19 Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities will follow later this week.
Following the release of CCIR 21-150.0 Mandatory Vaccine September 29 we have received several questions. Please find clarification below.
Effective today, October 4, 2021:
- All visitors to long-term care must be fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination must be provided by visitors who wish to visit a loved one in LTC. This does not include designated caregivers, professionals (such as lawyers or financial advisors), or children under 12 years of age.
- Residents may not leave the facility with visitors who are not fully vaccinated. This does not include designated caregivers.
- All LTC residents throughout the province may leave their facility to participate in activities in the community. All residents may attend overnight visits except when the overnight visit will occur in Central zone. This means residents of any zone (including central zone) may attend overnight visits that occur outside of the Central zone.
Facilities may make exceptions to visiting restrictions for non-vaccinated visitors in instances where the resident is palliative. Non-vaccinated visitors who attend LTC facilities to visit a palliative resident must wear a mask and follow all PPE and distancing guidelines.
Mandatory Vaccination Policy – all Service Providers
Vaccination protects residents, clients, designated care givers, employees, team members, and visitors from SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). Vaccination will help prevent the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and decrease the risk of outbreaks in health-care and home-care settings across the province.
Dr. Robert Strang, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia, announced on September 29, 2021 there will be mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for various sectors in Nova Scotia. This includes all workers, professionals and volunteers in licensed and unlicensed long-term care facilities.
Vaccination will also be required for the following in long-term care: visitors, volunteers, designated caregivers, contractors, hairdressers, and delivery and repair workers, etc. The expectation is to be fully vaccinated (first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine) by November 30, 2021.
Nova Scotia Health has developed a mandatory vaccine policy that will be shared and will provide a framework for service providers to adapt as their mandatory vaccine policy. The policy will be applicable to existing staff and new hires. Full vaccination will be a hiring condition for new staff. There will be additional information on best practices to support service providers in managing employee vaccine records. It will be the responsibility of the sites to keep accurate and current vaccine records for their staff.
The vaccine mandate allows for a medical exception process for staff and Designated Caregivers who are unable to be vaccinated. However, the medical reasons required for an exception are very specific and limited. An exception letter can only be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician.
Definition of fully vaccinated
A person is considered fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) 14 days or more after receipt of the vaccine schedules listed below, following minimum dosing intervals.
- 2 doses of a 2-dose series of a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech,AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD). This is inclusive of mixed vaccine schedules.
- 1 dose of a 1-dose series of a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine(Janssen/Johnson & Johnson).
- Complete series of a non-Health Canada, World Health Organization authorized COVID-19•vaccine (e.g., Sinopharm or Sinovac)
An individual is considered not fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 if they have not received a COVID-19 vaccine series as described above, including only one dose of any two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series. More information can be found: Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
In addition to the mandatory vaccination policy effective November 30, 2021, the following changes are effective Monday, October 4, 2021 at 8 a.m.:
- Medical masks will continue to be mandatory for all visitors, Designated Caregivers and staff.
- Residents are permitted to leave the facility and stay overnight at a family home, Designated Caregiver’s home, or home of a friend (within Atlantic Canada), in accordance with the Guidelines dated August 4, 2021, except where prohibited. This will be based on zone epidemiology.
- Long-term care residents residing in Central Zone are not permitted to leave the facility and stay overnight.
- Residents residing in other zones may not stay overnight in Central Zone.
We continue to have resources and protocols in place to support you in your work. Continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols including staff self-screening, and pre-screening and Point of Care Risk Assessment for clients. Continue to practice good hand hygiene, universal masking, and use of PPE as recommended. Also, please be advised that soon there will be an updated document for families posted at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/resources/ — scan down to “Long-term care visiting guidelines.” You may wish to provide this link or document to your families and residents
To Staff, Families, Designated Caregivers, Volunteers, and Contractors
Attached is a release of information from the province of Nova Scotia mandating vaccination for all Long Term Care Facilities across the province. Attached is all relevant information that pertains to Valley View Villa which has been outlined in CCIR#21‐150.0 issued from the Province of Nova Scotia. We have not learned anything beyond this memo. Further communication will be posted as we learn more on how the rollout of this mandate is developed.
Dear Family & Friends,
As of Thursday July 15th we are entering phase 4 of the reopening plan with that being said the following has changed in our facility:
For residents who are fully immunized against COVID-19:
- Visits in a family home, including overnight stays for no more than one night at a time, are now permitted, while adhering to the current Public Health Order (e.g., gathering limits, etc.) Others may visit the home while the resident is present, as long as gathering limits are maintained. It is recommended that all eligible residents in a family home are immunized with at least one dose. A family home includes the home of a family member or Designated Caregiver. This may also include a family cottage, RV, etc.
For residents who are partially immunized or not immunized against COVID-19:
- Full community access is now permitted for residents as per the restrictions in the Public Health Order (such as gathering limits and masking, etc.) Access is permitted with a support person, Designated Caregiver, or independently, if agreed upon by the resident and facility. This includes retail stores, restaurants, banks, adult day programs, work and school. This does not include visits in a family home.
- Indoor visits in designated visitation areas and in resident rooms are now permitted. These visits need to be per booked by the residents Designated Caregiver only. Residents are encouraged, but are not required, to wear a mask and physically distance from their visitor(s). This means that these residents may sit close, hug, touch, or exchange a kiss or handshake during an indoor visit.
Indoor visits must still be booked by the residents Designated Caregiver with a limit of 2 visitors at a time. Between the hours of 10-6 seven days a week.
Outside visits can be booked by family or friends with a limit of 5 including the resident. Between the hours of 9-5 Monday-Friday.
Offsite drives must be per booked the day before by the designated care giver and the designated caregiver must be present during the outing. These can be booked between the hours of 10-6, seven days a week. If you are taking your resident out for the night please remember they are only allowed to leave the facility for one night.
Please ensure all Public Health Guidelines are followed at all times when with your resident.
Valley View Villa Management
Re: Infrastructure Announcement
Valley View Villa has received exciting news. The Province of Nova Scotia announced improve living conditions for our residents by funding and overseeing major infrastructure upgrades for Valley View Villa.
To date, minimal details have been provided to the facility. Provincial teams are currently planning for the community assessment and stakeholder engagement phase of this project. After the need’s assessment
is complete, provincial leaders will determine whether to replace, repair, or renovate the facility. Please find the official press release: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210709001
Dear Families & Friends;
Effective Thursday July 1st 2021:
For residents who are fully immunized against COVID-19:
- Designated Caregivers are able to book indoor visits for family & friends to visit the resident in their room. These visits must be booked in advance and you will need to screen in at the main door prior to visiting residents. When visiting inside we are allowing 2 visitors at a time with 1 resident. Visiting hours are still 10-6.
- Full community access is now permitted. Residents can only go into the community with their designated caregivers. This includes: stores, restaurants, etc. As per restrictions in the Public Health Order. (mask is to be worn at all times by DCG while in the car, also by resident if they can tolerate mask)
For residents who are partially immunized or not immunized against COVID-19:
- Visits outdoors without physically distancing are now permitted. Residents are encouraged but not required to wear a mask and physically distance when possible.
- Residents may now access outdoor public areas such as boardwalks & public parks with their designated caregivers. The resident must maintain physical distancing (except with their designated caregiver) and is not permitted to come in contact with others during the outing.
Please remember outside visits are still available Monday to Friday between the hours of 9-5. You can do this by calling 902-755-5780 ext 216. The limit of people allowed during an outside visit is 5 this includes 4 visitors & the resident.
Please note rules & regulations change daily. Thank you for understanding in these difficult times.
Take Care & Stay Safe
Valley View Villa, Management Team
Visitations now open for Designated Caregivers 10am – 6pm. For other Family and Friends, currently by appointment only.
Please contact us with any questions.
Phase 2 of the province’s reopening plan is in effect on June 16, 2021 at 8 a.m., and includes the lifting of the following restrictions in long-term care:
For all residents:
- The requirement to cohort residents, for example, for dining and group activities, has been removed. Cohorting residents is no longer required.
- When going on a sight-seeing drive with Designated Caregiver or in a facility bus, drivethroughs are now permitted.
- Sightseeing drives with one or both of their Designated Caregivers are now permitted (one resident at a time, no stops allowed, but drive-throughs are permitted). The resident is not permitted to come into contact with others during the drive.
For residents who are fully immunized against COVID-19:
- Residents may now go for a walk off the grounds of the facility (locally, in the home’s neighbourhood) with a Designated Caregiver(s), a support person, or independently, if the resident/Substitute Decision Maker and facility care team consider it safe to do so.
- Residents may access outdoor public areas such as boardwalks, parks, etc. The resident must maintain physical distancing (except with their Designated Caregiver or support person) and is not permitted to come into contact with others during the walk.
For residents who are partially immunized against COVID-19, or not immunized at all:
- Residents may now go for a walk off the grounds of the facility (locally, in the home’s neighbourhood) with a Designated Caregiver or support person, or independently, if the resident/Substitute Decision Maker and facility care team consider it safe to do so.
- Hairdressing appointments at the in-house salon are now permitted.
- Residents may be visited indoors or outdoors by specialized workers including a licensed hair stylist, lawyer, financial advisor, etc.
Volunteers, as defined in the Guidelines, may now resume activities in long-term care facilities.
Exciting news we are in the process of re opening our building to Designated Caregiver & starting outside visits up again to family and friends who are not DCG’s. The following will be implemented in the coming days:
- Starting Monday June 7th 2021, vaccinated residents can have outside visits with family & friends. These visits must be booked through the front desk 902-755-5780 ext 216 and will be between the hours of 9:30 – 4:40 Monday to Friday. Visits will take place in the gazebo and also on the Oak deck. They will be 30 minutes in length and you can have up to four visitors plus your resident. A total of 5 in the visiting area at a time. Each resident will receive up to two visits weekly if scheduling allows.
- Effective June 3rd 2021, residents can have two designated caregivers to visit at the same time.
- Effective June 3rd 2021 one designated caregiver at a time can take residents for sightseeing drives. Designated caregiver must wear a mask at all times, no stops or drive thrus will be permitted. A travel log must be filled out upon arrival and return. You must be screened upon picking up your resident. This will happen at the main entrance.
- Starting Monday June 7th 2021 education will be provided so DCG can visit residents in their room. Two designated caregivers will be permitted to visit at the same time. You will still need to be screened in before entering the facility, the screening will take place at the main entrance.
You do not need to book an appointment as a DCG to visit your resident, you just need to visit between the hours of 10am – 6pm Monday – Friday. DCG has daily access to their residents. You will need the education before you can enter the care area.
Please note rules & regulations change daily. Thank you for understanding in these difficult times. Please note this is Phase 1 of our reopening plan. Updates will be given frequently.
Take Care & Stay Safe
Valley View Villa
IPAC Recommendations for Facilities Receiving Resident Belongings from Home & Other Deliveries
During the COVID-19 pandemic, client/residents may need essential or non-essential items from outside the facility or belongings from home. These items may include clean or seasonal clothing, food items, personal care supplies, and gifts/flowers. This guidance document was developed to offer suggestions to long term care facilities (LTCF) on how to accept these items while abiding by infection prevention and control practices. This guidance pertains to accepting gifts from family/support person(s) or designated caregivers during a visit with a client/resident, family members & individuals who wish to drop off items at a LTCF for a client/resident, and/or commercial delivery personnel.
INDIVIDUALS DROPPING OFF RESIDENT BELONGINGS OR ITEMS WILL:
- Follow provincial guidance for self-screening for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Items should not be brought in from a home where individuals are on self-isolation or symptomatic
individuals are present.
a. Delivery of the personal items/belongings should be deferred until the isolation period has lapsed and/or symptoms have resolved.
b. If a client/resident requires an item on an urgent basis, arrangements should be made, in conjunction with the facility, to have an alternate person who is not on self-isolation and who does not have symptoms to pick up and deliver items to the facility.
- Ensure all resident clothing items are freshly laundered.
- Place resident clothing and personal items in a clean, disposable plastic bag for delivery, instead of a suitcase, duffle bag, etc. The bag should be labelled with the resident’s name.
- Ensure food items are pre-packaged, non-perishable commercially prepared food items, or single-serving homemade food items. Food items must not require refrigeration or heating, and must be in a disposable container. Containers and leftovers will be discarded.
- Wear a face mask when entering and in the facility.
- Arrive at the designated visitor entrance and report to the screening desk or other designated area.
- Perform hand hygiene upon entry and exit from the facility.
STAFF AT THE LTCF WILL:
- Develop a written internal process for accepting deliveries for a client/resident and for family/support persons bringing in personal items from home during scheduled visits.
- Assign a designated individual(s )to be responsible for maintaining and providing to the security/registration desk a list of expected deliveries, to allow for coordination of staff and ensure timing between deliveries if needed.
- Staff receiving the items will perform hand hygiene and put on clean gloves before handling any items being delivered.
- Designated staff members should deliver items to the resident.
- If the resident is unable to manage unpacking the delivered items, assistance may be provided. The staff member should put on gloves before helping the resident, discard the bag after removing the items, then remove the gloves and perform hand hygiene.
- If the resident is on Additional Precautions, staff may accept and deliver items using the correct
PPE as outlined on door signage.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding during our recent precautionary closure. This pause has allowed us to evaluate our current operation and ensure safety for residents, family, staff, and community. It is our intention to remain open to designated caregivers throughout this wave, to continue with psychosocial and emotional needs of your loved one.
Over the next few days, we will be refreshing all designated caregivers with their training and updating agreements to best reflect current protocol and procedure. Please call (902)755‐5780 ext 216 to book your training to take place Wednesday Thursday and Friday starting at 1:00PM with the last session beginning at 3:00PM in the gazebo. These sessions are a half hour with a capacity of 8 DSGs per session. Once you complete your refresher and signed agreement you can begin booking your appointments as early as Friday April 30th for the following week.
General Procedure for Designated Caregiver Visits during 3rd wave
- Visits will be 30 minutes in length
- Each DCG will receive one visit a week
- Each visit will consist of the resident and one caregiver.
- 6 foot social distancing at all times
- Masks must be worn at all times
- 1 strike policy. If you are not following Public Health Directives you will be asked to leave
- Education and signed agreement is mandatory to visit
- Food from home is allowed, but must be brought in a wipe able container
- Do not leave assigned visitation area while visiting your resident
- Conduct must be respected and adhered to at all times
- Visits will only be Mon‐Fri 10:00‐5:15 until epidemiology improves
We recognize that these are stressful times. Emotions are heightened for all stakeholders, so we must be patient, courteous and always show mutual respect when interacting with each other. You will be asked to leave our facility if you do not adhere to our conduct policy. All stakeholders deserve a respectful environment at all times. Anything less will not be tolerated.
If an issue does occur, we do encourage you to proceed through a complaint process. Ask to speak to an RN, who will be able to assist you. If your complaint is about staff conduct, policy, etc. you will be provided a complaint form that you are to fill out. This form will be given to the appropriate manager or director and a response will be provided with 72 hours. A resolve should happen at this stage. However, if your complaint is not resolved, please address the complaint to the administrator to make a final decision, determination/resolve regarding the issue.
Thank you all for your continued understanding and support through these difficult times.
Today is the last Day for Designated Caregivers to be vaccinated. Thank you all for participating in the vaccine rollout. We had an incredible turnout and our compliance rate with both residents and designated caregivers is greater than 95%. Again, this is a major layer of protection that will help reduce the severity of a potential COVID19 outbreak within the facility. We are looking to ease our restrictions, but this is completely dependent upon current epidemiology and public health restrictions.
As you are all aware, we are beginning to see spikes in our epidemiology provincially as well as locally. For these reasons we are going to take the following actions.
1) Close all visitations from April 24-26th . This will allow a short period of time to pass to see how our community is impacted with recent exposures at a provincial hockey tournament over April 16th‐19th here at our local wellness center and neighboring establishments.
2) On April 27th we will be opened to designated caregivers only. Due to our inability to socially distance, only one caregiver can visit at a time. This rule will be in place for 2 weeks, but will be assessed daily to either shorten or extend this restriction.
3) Medical appointments are still allowed. But we must stress that no person is to stop along the way. You are to only drive to and from your appointment. Full list of rules and a log sheet will be provided and signed off by all residents, or delegates, to ensure compliance.
4) Any person from the Halifax area or live in a community that is restricted by Public Health must respect the provincial directives. You are not permitted to leave your community, especially to come to a long‐term care facility. If you arrive on our property, we will report to the appropriate authorities.
Our greatest measure of protection is through limiting community spread. You, along with most of Nova Scotia, has been nothing but exceptional. I have full confidence you and your loved ones will do the right thing by limiting your social gathering and travel in order to curb the spread of this deadly virus within our province. Once we get ourselves on track, we will reevaluate the situation and assess from there.
Dear Families and Designated Caregivers:
It is with great excitement to announce that we officially have the Moderna COVID‐19 Vaccine onsite. Tomorrow morning residents will begin their vaccinations. This is expected to finish Wednesday the following day. Thanks to all those who quickly completed consent forms and submitted them back to the facility in a timely manner.
Designated Caregivers will receive their first vaccine here at Valley View Villa on March 22, 23, 26 with the second dose administered April 19, 20, 23. Health Association Nova Scotia (HANS) will be in contact with
all designated caregivers to schedule appointments. Please note that the space used for visitations will be our vaccination clinic, therefor all scheduled visits will be cancelled on these days.
Vaccinating residents and caregivers will be a huge milestone to begin loosening restrictions here at the Villa. We will announce details once we complete the vaccination clinics.
Visits will resume on Thursday February 18th 2021, we will be sticking to one visit a week per resident. Designated caregiver (either one) and a plus one can visit at a time. If designated caregiver is unable to come they can approve someone else to come visit by calling and letting us know.
Visits can be cancelled right up to the day of your visit. Visits will be booked on a weekly bases. You can call halfway through the week to see if there is room for a second visit. Visits will be 30 minutes in length and no visits will be permitted during meal times.
You can call 902-755-5780 ext 216 to book your visit, please leave a message if there is no answer.
Public Health has reach out to inform us that a potential varicella zoster cluster (Chickenpox) at Valley View Villa, with 1 confirmed case and 1 probable case that work in the same unit with similar symptom onset date. Possible source of infection is a resident with a herpes zoster infection (Shingles). Although a recent physician assessment did not think this was HZ, swab was taken Feb 3 and is pending
We will be closing the facility from visitors (as a precaution) until further direction is made from Public Health. At this point in time, all staff will be required to undergo testing or prove their immunization. Further communication will be provided as information becomes available.
With yesterday’s announcement from our provincial leadership and Dr. Strang, Valley View Villa has made changes to the visitation restrictions over the holidays. It is our intention to continue with the Designated Caregiver visits that are already booked, but during these booked visits VVV will accommodate one additional visitor. The additional visitor does not have to be a designated caregiver. In addition, we are also going to increase the volume of visits to accommodate families to reconnect with their loved ones over the holiday season. These changes take effect on December 21, 2020.
Note, we are seeing exposure sites within our own community. We are monitoring this situation very closely, and for this reason we want to make it clear that all rules are subject to change without notice. This virus has the greatest impact on our vulnerable population, and we fully intend to take all necessary measures to maintain safety.
Vaccines are coming and will be issued to all residents, staff and designated caregivers from now until March. There is an end to this pandemic through vaccination, but until then, we cannot let our guard down.
2020 has been a year to remember. Although it has been faced with great difficulty, I can say there are silver linings. Priorities are better aligned with values, community is everything, and Nova Scotians are truly strong. For us healthcare workers, it has been extraordinarily busy, stressful and worrisome, but it has also been a blessing and incredibly rewarding to be part of this journey. I want to thank everyone for being so supportive, patient and kind. We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that cares for each other and our beloved residents. Your support and encouragement means everything and a reminder why our commitment continues to be unwavered.
Stay safe over the Holidays and look forward to your return in 2021.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
We are monitoring the increasing epidemiology within our provincial borders. Today 37 new cases have been announced, with one new case in our zone. Taking the advice of Public Health, Valley View Villa will be closed to all visitors for a 2 week period starting Thursday November 26th. We will take this opportunity to reinforce our safety protocols, staff awareness, and make small infrastructure changes to enhance safety measures. This is a difficult decision, but it is one that will provide vulnerable population the most protection.
If you have any questions, please contact the management team and we will be happy to assist you.
Thank you for your understanding,
Valley View Villa invites you to join us to celebrate Christmas this year by helping us to light up our tree dedicated to love. Our Christmas tree will be lit nightly to commemorate deceased loved ones or to honor people still in our lives. These people do not have to be residents at the Villa, but can be anyone for whom you have an abiding attachment or appreciation for being part of your life.
Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions we will not be having a light ceremony. But as always proceeds from this will go directly to resident programming.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
We are closely monitoring the active cases within our province. We are noticing increases in COVID19 cases, and with a large volume of exposures in our central zone, we suspect community spread will be inevitable. With this evolving situation, our leadership team decided this to be an appropriate time to implement restrictions to ensure the safety of residents, family, and staff.
Effective November 14th:
- Families visiting residents in private rooms will have to book appointments with the front desk and have the visit in our designated areas.
- Offsite visits are now going to be restricted to medical appointments only.
- Any person who left the Atlantic bubble in the past 14 days, or, any person who has visitors staying with them from outside the Atlantic bubble in the past 14 days will be restricted from entering the facility.
- Fast food items (Tim Hortons, McDonalds, etc.) will not be permitted inside the building.
Christmas gifts should start to be considered now. We will be accepting gifts, but the cutoff date will be December 20th.
These small changes can make a huge impact on the safety of those we care. We are working our best to avoid a full lockdown, but this will require compliance from all stakeholders and members within our caring community. I thank you all in advance for your understanding on this matter.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
As we work through new rules and regulations regarding onsite and offsite visits, we want to stress the following to achieve the best visit possible.
- All visits are to be booked Monday to Friday by calling 902‐755‐5780 ext. 216 or email@example.com. All booking must be made in advance. No exception to this rule.
- Palliative care guidelines remain as before and are separate from any other visitation.
- Outdoor visitation will cease Oct 31, 2020
- Visitation hours will be continuing 1000‐1800 Monday to Sunday form 10AM‐6PM
- Designated Caregiver visits will be limited to 50 minutes to allow for disinfection between visits. Exceptions can be made for residents in private rooms (please speak with a staff member).
- Only 1 family member is permitted at a time (for now).
- If the family is coming to assist with a meal, this must be mentioned when booking so the meal will be at the proper place at the proper time.
- Designated Caregiver status does not mean you are a caregiver. For the safety of your loved one, please ensure that professional and trained staff provide the appropriate care. For most, this would only require emotional support, aid in communication, and feeding.
- Visitors must arrive at the proper time. Early entrance will not be permitted.
- Community visits – family will arrive and park at the back entrance.
- Masks are to be worn for the entire duration of the visit.
- Offsite visits will be offered Monday to Saturday (no Sunday off site visits at this time)
- Please be respectful of staff. All stakeholders are expected to treat one another with mutual respect while on Valley View Villa property. Employees have the right to not tolerate rude behavior. Such instances will be documented, followed up by management, and restrictions will be put in place.
The Guidelines for Resident visits with Family in their Homes for Long Term Care Facilities in Nova Scotia has been developed to support long‐term care facilities to safely support residents to enjoy off‐ site day visits with family in their homes. Please note that this is a supplement to the COVID‐19 Management in Long Term Care Facilities.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
We are pleased to inform everyone that our phased approach to opening the facility to Designated Caregivers has been successful. Once our package is reviewed by our pilot group and out of draft form, we will share with all Substitute Decision Makers (SDM). We are targeting for Tuesday September 29th. This package will outline our expectations and how to proceed with booking your orientation and visits. We look forward to this positive change.
We are also aware that starting Monday, September 28th, the province is deeming it safe for residents to leave the facility. Once again, we received this information the same time as the public. Our priority is to open the facility to Designated Care Givers and have this operating safely and smoothly. Once we have this in place, we will review the guidelines for offsite visits. We ask for everyone to remain patient on this matter, so we can do this properly and safely. Once our plan is in place, all families will be notified.
Dear Families and Loved Ones,
We are very pleased to let you know that the Province of Nova Scotia is now allowing both indoor and outdoor visitation, by appointment only, to its Long‐Term Care Facilities. I know our residents and families are eager to see their loved ones. We are looking forward to supporting in‐person visits in designated areas within the facility and on facility grounds. For Valley View Villa, visits indoors will take place in the main dining room and the gazebos for outdoor. Physical distancing rules apply, and visitors are expected to wear non‐medical masks for outdoor visits and medical masks for indoor visits. Medical masks will be provided to families by the facility when you arrive.
Appointments will be scheduled in advance, and time limits will be in effect to ensure all residents who are able have a chance to visit with family. Visitation will be available only to residents who are not required to self‐isolate and who are not demonstrating signs or symptoms of COVID‐19 or other respiratory‐like illness.
If you wish to schedule a visit, please contact Lisa White (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book an appointment.
Please note that only one designated non‐essential family/support visitor can visit a resident at a time for indoor visitation. Only three visitors can be designated for indoor visits. These three designated visitors will be decided by the resident or substitute decision maker. Up to five people can visit a resident at a time during outdoor visitation. Outdoor visits do not have a limit to the number of designated visitors. You will be required to follow our protocol for visits, which is based on directives from the Department of Health and Wellness and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Specific instructions will be provided to you when your appointment is booked.
Should you have to cancel your visitation for any reason, please notify the facility in a timely manner to allow the facility to both support you in rescheduling, as well as allow other families to visit their loved ones.
- All visits are to be booked through recreation. Please contact Lisa White (email@example.com). This is subject to change, please stay posted.
- When booking you will be prescreened, and you will later be screened when arriving. If you present any symptoms prior to arriving, please notify the facility and we will reschedule to a later date.
- If you develop any symptoms related to COVID19 within two weeks prior to your visit, please notify the facility and call 811.
- Resident or Substitute Decision Maker must designate three individuals for indoor visits. These three visitors cannot change.
- Only one visitor per indoor visit.
- Parking is in the front of the building at the designated parking area (this is subject to change as the side may be more convenient).
- Visitor will enter the ‘Main Entrance’ at the front of the building.
- Mask and Hand Sanitizer will be in the foyer. Please perform proper hand hygiene and wear the provided medical mask.
- Visitor will be screened over the treehouse phone/intercom before entering.
- Visitor will be escorted to main floor dining room for visits.
- Visitor must wear mask for the entire visit and maintain a 6 foot distance at all times.
- Visits are limited to 30 mins.
- All visits will be supervised by staff.
- After visit is over, visitor may exit through the dining room door.
- Up to 5 visitors at a time. They do not need to be the same 5 each time.
- Parking is in the front for the Gazebo, Parking is in HavenBrook parking area for the covereddeck.
- Please follow the signage. Wait in designated area for staff to give direction. Ensure you arrive with your mask on. Mask can be either medical or non‐medical.
- Use provided hand sanitizer prior to screening.
- Staff member will screen visitors and then escorted to designated area.
- Must maintain 6ft distance for duration of visit.
- Once seated in the designated area, masks can be removed. Mask must be put back on while exiting.
Please note that these protocols are subject to change based on best practices and direction from the
Chief Medical Officer of Health. The facility reserves the right to cancel visits at any time, for example
active cases in our community.
If you have any ONE of the following symptoms:
- Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Nasal Congestion/runny nose
- Hoarse voice
- Unusual fatigue
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause
Do not come to Valley View Villa. Call either Lisa White or the Nurses Station to report your symptoms(s).
If you develop symptoms within 14 days of after your visit, you must call 811 and notify the nurses station.
It is important to always self‐screen and always report your symptoms. Even with few cases of COVID‐19 being reported in NS, we must continue to protect our residents and follow all guidelines. It is the law.
Valley View Villa is excited to learn that provincial leaders feel confident enough in our public health to further lift restrictions effective July 22, 2020. We will work towards incorporating the changes as best as possible; however, there are other operational barriers that many of our long term care homes are now facing that don’t fall under the public health plan. For now we are not scheduling indoor visits until a feasible and safe plan is established.
Please understand that our first priority is the safety and care of our residents and we know that time spent with families and loved ones is of paramount importance. We hope to work through this matter quickly and with the least amount of impact on our residents. We appreciate the continued understanding and public support that is shown to Valley View Villa.
As mentioned last week, outdoor family visits have been allowed in LTC. Our staff have been working
extra hard this week to create a comfortable space to make visits a great experience for both you and
your loved one. We have been upgrading the Gazebo in the front of the building. Floor boards were
replaced and covered with plywood, the bottom rails have been walled, its completely screened in, fresh
coat of paint, decorated, electric heater will be above resident for cool days, lighting, gardens redone,
If you wish to book a visit please contact Lisa White by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who had
a window visit booked, will be moved to the outdoor visits. There is high volume of requests for visiting.
For this reason, we are only allowing 1 visit per resident per week. Due to the demand, we are already
working on a 2nd location to increase our capacity. We are covering the deck off the Oak Wing that leads
to the outdoor courtyard. We are also submitting our staffing increase request to support these visits
with a formalized process through the Department of Health. Once complete, we will be sure to keep
When you arrive for your visit, please arrive on time (even 5 minutes early) to process the required
paperwork. You may park in the first two parking spots out front of the facility. Signage will designate
the family visitor spots. You will be greeted by our staff at the Gazebo. Here you will be given a mask to
wear (or you can bring your own), your temperature will be taken with an touchless thermometer, and a
form you are required to fill out asking a series of questions for screening purposes. This paperwork is
mandatory. This paperwork would be used by Public Health in the event of a facility outbreak. Once your
paperwork is complete, you will be offered a snack and refreshment from our fixed menu. You will be
seated in the gazebo in a designated spot, at which point your loved one will then be brought out to
their designated spot. Your visit will be restricted to 20‐30 mins (depending on set up). All surfaces will
be cleaned in between visits.
All visits will be monitored by a staff member. Maintaining at social distance of 2 meters (6ft) is required
at all times. Unfortunately, you will not be able to hug, kiss, or make any direct contact. Any visitor who
violates the mandates issued by Chief Medical Office of Health, will be asked to leave immediately and
will be prohibited from returning to the property. The resident or loved one you made contact with, will
also be required to isolate for 14 days (as per Public Health). I trust that everyone will respect the rules,
as they are to protect our most vulnerable. If we feel the program is unsafe, Valley View Villa reserve the
right to cancel.
We are very excited to have this available. Look forward to seeing you and your loved one reconnect
and enjoy the summer days.
As many are aware, the province has released very exciting news to allow for outdoor visits. We are very pleased to learn of this announcement. Please be patient with us, as the guidelines for visitation were released the same day it was announced. We have a good sense of how this is going to look, we just need a few extra days to make it happen. We are hoping for late next week to go live with a few visits, once we establish the process and protocols we hope to increase the amount of visits.
Outlined below is a general overview as per Public Health:
- Visits occur outdoors only, in designated areas on the grounds of our facility.
- Visits will be monitored by staff who will accompany visitors directly to the identified visiting space who will provide personal protective equipment if necessary.
- A maximum of two visitors may attend at one time.
- All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 upon entry to the facility, must be asymptomatic, must wear a non-medical mask, and must maintain physical distancing of 2 meters. Once at the designated visiting area, if physical distancing can be adhered to the non medical mask can be removed to facilitate effective communication.
- Visitor information will be logged, including date and time of attendance to the facility.
- Visitors are not permitted to enter the facility or grounds if they are under a requirement to self-isolate ( due to travel, awaiting results of COVID-19 testing, contact with a COVID-19 case, or are currently ill with COVID-19, or for other reasons)
Stay tuned for further information. We are excited to have visitation restrictions lifted. We are working hard to make this a great experience for you and your loved one to reconnect, all the while ensuring the safety of everyone.
June 10, 2020
Dear clients and families,We are now three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted every Nova Scotian. While we will begin to see some reintroduction of health services, we expect that long-term care will continue to have many precautions in place to ensure we continue to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. As a result, you may wait longer for placement than originally thought. We want to assure you that you will remain on the long-term care wait list. We are unable to predict when we will be able to place more people from community, but rest assured we will keep you informed as the situation evolves.
A number of measures have been put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in both long-term care and home care, including:
- mandatory use of masks by staff in resident care areas
- health screening of employees before they start their shift (includes health questions and temperature)
- monitoring long-term care residents / home care clients (health questions and temperature checks)
- testing symptomatic residents / home care clients / health care workers
- mandatory compliance with restrictions on social gathering
- social distancing
- good hand and respiratory hygiene
- rigorous cleaning
As you know, there have been a number of cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff within long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia. We have seen outbreaks contained and controlled at various long-term care facilities. At the same time, we are saddened by the situation at Nova Scotia’s largest facility. Government and NSHA, with support from the IWK Health Centre and from other health care organizations, have worked closely with Northwood to contain the spread and focus on the care and safety of residents and staff.
It is important that you and your family stay well informed. Trustworthy sources of information on COVID-19 include www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus or call the federal government’s COVID19 hotline at 1-833-784-4397. We also encourage you and your family to visit http://www.nshealth.ca/continuing-care to view additional resources as well as sign up for email alerts for information regarding NSHA Continuing Care programs and services.
It is a difficult time for everyone, but if we all do our part, we will reduce the spread of the virus and life will return to normal sooner. As always, if your care needs or circumstances change, please contact your NSHA Care Coordinator or you can call toll free 1-800-225-7225. We will be happy to assist you.
Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.
Susan Stevens, Senior Director, Continuing Care, NSHA
Vicki Elliot-Lopez, Senior Executive Director, Continuing Care, Department of Health & Wellness
At Valley View Villa, we recognize that not the lives of not only our residents but also their families have been impacted by COVID-19.
If you or someone you know is struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic, Valley View Villa encourages you to access Feed Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Food Box Program.
Feed Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Food Box program is a short-term initiative to provide home delivery of food to Nova Scotians who need food support and can’t get to a food bank or other food support programs. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please call 211 on weekdays from 8am-8pm. Their phone navigators will help identify whether this program is a good fit.
- At this point individuals must call 211 for intake, weekdays from 8am-8pm.
- Each food box contains non-perishable items to help provide food support for up to seven days. A household with one person will receive two food boxes. A household with two or more people will receive four food boxes. No household will receive more than four food boxes in a single delivery. There is a limited capacity of food boxes. If someone needs food support and can’t get to a food bank or other food support programs, we encourage them to make use of this program while it’s available.
- Food boxes will be delivered throughout the province by community partners, volunteers and courier, depending on the location. In all regions, the matching and delivery process is managed by Feed Nova Scotia. Delivery times will vary between 1-5 days.
Remember, food banks are still there.
Most food banks and meal programs are still open with processes in place to safely serve their communities. If you or someone you know is in need of food and do have the ability to access a food bank or meal program, please consider this option. To find a food bank nearby, people should call 211 or visit Feed Nova Scotia’s website and click on the Find Food button: www.feednovascotia.ca.
Dear Family & Loved Ones,
As we move through our first wave here in Nova Scotia, I am proud to say that our efforts have been successful. No resident or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. We are finding new ways to live with COVID-19, and we continue to be extra diligent in our safety. We have required staff to wear masks in the care area, sectioned the building into 4 units (cohorts) where staff have their own entry ways, resident temperatures are monitored twice daily and sent into Public Health, staff are screened before entering the building, mandatory PPE training for staff, and increase in staffing levels in all departments to allow for cohorting.
The threshold for testing is low. There is a lengthy list of symptoms that will now require testing (both residents and staff). Testing is done regularly. This is an extra safety precaution to ensure active cases are caught early. We know that the province is actively working on phases to reopen the economy. It has been noted that opening the facility will occur in the later phases, as our residents are most vulnerable. Once we know more on how the facility is phased into reopening, we will share with families and public. This will be in consultation with the sector and public health.
Valley View Villa continues to strive for excellence on a daily basis. Every day new measures are discussed and implemented to improve the safety and wellbeing of our loved ones. As the economy opens back up on June 5th, we know that a possible 2nd wave is to soon hit the province. For this reason, Valley View Villa will remain diligent and cautious.
We have been approved a music therapist for the summer, as well an additional summer student to help with recreation. In our most recent family satisfaction survey, it was noted more attention needs to be given to our gardens. We have applied for federal funding to address this and anticipate hearing in the next week or two. We know that these are difficult times for your loved ones who have been isolated. Know that our staff go above and beyond in all aspects of care. You can see all staff socializing with residents, doing recreational activities, assist residents to connect families through IPADs, haircare, and much more.
Please check out our new webpage, it is a lot more inviting and usable. We are hoping to have a COVID19 tab available soon, to better inform families and the public. If you have any questions, please reach out. Valley View Villa is here for your loved one, and will always put them FIRST.
Please note that the Province of Nova Scotia has released an updated list of COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have any one of the COVID-19 symptoms, or any other symptoms that concern you, call 811 for assessment by a nurse.
Possible symptoms of COVID-19 are now as follows:
Valley View Villa is delighted to welcome you to our new website. We hope that you find our new layout more accessible and easier to navigate. In a time when digital communication is essential for all of us we felt that this step was a crucial one, and we encourage you to check back frequently for new updates about Valley View Villa.
Your VVV Team
We wanted to let everyone know that recreation is still doing small programs and one on ones daily with our residents! We have been keeping them busy with arts & crafts, board games, sing alongs, daily treats including cotton candy, one on one visits & much more!
March 24, 2020
Dear Resident, Families, and Loved Ones,
Valley View Villa has been monitoring COVID‐19 since its inception in the early winter. Over the past few weeks, new preventative measures have been taken on a daily basis as the virus spreads across the province. We are taking the matter very seriously, as we know the risk this virus poses to our seniors. Valley View Villa is committed to take any and every preventative measure to keep our residents safe and free from this virus entering our facility.
As you may be aware, we have already taken several measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Most are measures that are directed by Public Health, where we have further taken extra precautions to stay ahead of this virus.
Measures we have taken are but are not limited to:
- Closing our facility to visitors
- Staff who traveled out of the country and province are to stay isolated for 14 days
- Restricting access and entrances to the facility
- Ensuring proper disinfection of our physical environment
- Properly sterilize and process any equipment, food or supplies that enter the facility
- Limiting contract workers and screening
- Staff education and training
- Increased staffing levels
We would like to make note that any personal items or care packages sent to the home will not be accepted. We appreciate the gesture, but please contact recreation as we may be able to purchase items for your loved one for you. This will ensure for proper disinfection and processing.
Even though the facility is closed, we have set up a place for you to see your loved one in an enclosed area. You will be separated by glass, but a phone will be provided. If this is of interest, please contact recreation to schedule a visit. If you wish to use technology to connect with your family member, please ask recreation and we will make the arrangements.
Currently there are no presumptive cases in Valley View Villa with both the residents or the staff. We wish to maintain a high level of care as we are known for. If you have any further questions please contact the RN or Recreation. We will provide families frequent updates. Know we are in this together and we are all committed to our residents and their quality of life.
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