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