St. Leonard’s Place Peel (SLPP) understands the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on all residents, staff and the larger community. We have developed a disease prevention control strategy that includes education and risk mitigation protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our facility. Our strategy includes the following:
I. DEVELOPMENT OF INFECTION DISEASE CONTROL POLICY AND PROCEDURES SPECIFIC TO COVID-19
These policies were developed for staff and require all employees of the agency provide confirmation of having read and agreed to these protocols. The objectives of these policies are to:
1. Ensure staff are aware of best practice and routine infectious disease control practices
2. Emphasize the responsibly of each staff to comply with infectious disease protocols
3. Outline infectious disease protocols, such as:
• Risk mitigation / risk assessment
II. STAFF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
These mandatory education and training materials were developed for staff. The participation rate for these trainings is 100%. Education and training objectives include:
1. Educating staff on the symptoms and mode of transmission of COVID-19
2. Educating staff on the infection control policy and procedure/protocol for a suspected case. Adhering to IPAC procedures.
3. Educating staff on the appropriate order for donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper handwashing techniques to reduce the spread of infection.
4. Educating staff on the effective use of infrared thermometers and how to safely clean face-shields.
III. CLIENT EDUCATION AND TRAINING
These education and training materials were developed specifically for clients and included written materials and in-person trainings. Objectives of client training sessions included:
1. Educating clients on the symptoms and mode of transmission of COVID-19
2. Educating clients on the infection control policy and procedures
3. Educating clients regarding quarantine and community access restriction policies
4. Educating clients on screening processes
IV. SOCIAL DISTANCING
SLPP has put a number of procedures in place to optimize social distancing among residents and staff:
1. Adjusting medication access procedures to optimize safe distancing between clients and staff
V. ACTIVE SCREENING PROTOCOLS
Mandatory Pre-admission COVID-19 Testing
Prior to admission, residents are required to complete a COVID-19 test and quarantine as per Public Health Standards.
Signage is posted on the entry door, at the reception window, in common areas, hallways and washrooms instructing residents to self-identify, perform hand hygiene, wear a procedure mask, and have access to tissue and a waste receptacle. All residents should be instructed to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or with their elbow when coughing and sneezing. Residents have been educated through small group sessions and written communication (e.g., letters).
VI. PROTOCOL FOR SUSPECTED CASES
• Residents who present with symptoms are immediately self-isolated in a designated waiting room or in their room if appropriate
• Staff provide the resident with a mask and practice social distancing
• The Health Team conducts an assessment to determine next steps
• If required, the Covid Response Team will contact Public Health and act as the liaison.
There is currently 1 self-isolation room available onsite with private washroom and the ability to develop additional isolation rooms if required
• Wellness checks are completed every 2-3 hours
• Meals are delivered to the room
VII. CLEANING & PROTECTIVE GEAR
Keeping the residence clean and disinfected has been instrumental to SLPP. Our community maintenance program engages a professional cleaning agency, staff and residents in daily cleaning and monitoring.
• Each floor of both buildings is cleaned every day by a professional contracted cleaning service
• Cleaning focuses on high touch surface areas – door knobs, desks, tables, chairs, doors, floors, foyers, rotunda and shared bathrooms are being cleaned daily
• Deep cleaning is also performed
• Cleaning supplies remain in stock
• Clients and cleaners are given cleaning supplies in volumes appropriate for their community maintenance shift, and are asked to advise staff when products run low for top up
The agency has not experienced a shortage of supplies since the onset of the quarantine and the following supplies are made available daily:
• Bathroom supplies including soap and paper towels
• Personal hygiene products (normally resident’s responsibility but we are providing when needed)
• General cleaning products
• Sanitizing wipes
• Hand sanitizer
• Garbage bags
• Gloves for waste removal
• Disinfectant / glass cleaner
Personal Protective Equipment
• SLPP is following medical best practices for the wearing all protective equipment including face masks
• Mandatory use of face masks for all staff and clients
• Interdisciplinary staff are trained on how to use surgical masks as per Public Health guidelines
• Protocols for using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as outlined in the COVID-19 Guidance for Homelessness Service Providers will be observed.
• SLPP’s PPE supply is being monitored and reported to the Region of Peel
VIII. ADDITONAL KEY RISK MITIGATION MEASURES
Returning from Outside
• Hand sanitizer stations and signage are posted at entry.
• Staff ensure that residents hand sanitize as per protocol
• Passive screening is performed
• Essential visitors are permitted onsite.
• If required, staff can transport residents to appointments, or a taxi service will be used.
Daily incident reporting
• SLPP will report any cases to our funders on a daily basis along with any significant developments with our infection control strategy.
• Mass swabbing for COVID-19 was conducted on several occasions for both staff and residents.
• Vaccination clinics was conducted on-site was conducted on several occasions for both staff and residents.