COVID-19 Safety Plan
As the global COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are putting measures in place to ensure we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety and health of our clients, clients, staff, volunteers and facilities. It is out of an abundance of caution and a strong commitment to limit the spread of this virus that we are implementing measures and putting processes into place to ensure we continue to serve our clients.
Homewood Health Centre has a strong commitment to mental health and addiction and improving lives of Canadians, and as such we will continue to provide services to those who are seeking support and treatment. However, given the current circumstances, we are implementing the following changes to best protect our clients, staff and community:
- Enhancing patient screening both prior to admission and as they enter treatment
- Limiting all visitors to Homewood Health Centre to one dedicate visitor for the duration of the clients stay until further notice
- Screening of staff and any persons requiring access to the facility
- Suspending patient travel to external community groups (i.e. recovery meetings, peer support meetings)
- Additional enhanced personal and facility hygiene measures have been put in place, adding to our already stringent hand washing and sanitizing practices
We will continue to monitor this situation and re-evaluate these policies as this event continues to evolve. Our number one priority at Homewood Health Centre is to protect our clients, clients, volunteers and staff. We recognize there are challenges, and that the way forward is to support each other as a community of clients and health providers.
Thank you for joining us in these efforts. This summary has been assembled from a variety of procedures and policies across Homewood Health’s inpatient facilities and is the most accurate and up-to-date reflection Homewood Health’s response to COVID-19 as of March 2021. This is not a single policy document, nor is it inclusive of all measures that have been implemented. As COVID-19 continues to evolve in our communities, so do we. We are continuously reviewing public health directives, guidelines and best practices and reviewing our internal processes and procedures to ensure they are aligned.
Health services and caregivers related to mental health and addiction treatment were deemed essential by provinces across Canada in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homewood Health Centre & Homewood Health Inc. inpatient facilities began implementing strong measures to limit the risk to our clients, staff, and the community in order to continue to respond to the needs of our clients/clients.
At any point during the intake/admission process a client’s start date can be deferred 14 days; clients who have reported symptoms that may or may not be COVID-19, or have any reported behavior that is not aligned with physical distancing recommendations, will be subject to delayed admission.
Accepted to all facilities from all provinces. Referrals are reviewed and triaged for approval by our medical and clinical teams.
Admissions & Travel:
- Admissions will be accepted from all provinces, provided the client passes the enhanced screening and intake measures
- For clients travelling from out-of-province to attend treatment we strongly recommend direct flights and that the client follows the travel guidelines from Government of Canada and CDC
COVID-19 Test & Screening:
Please be advised, as Homewood Health is continually working to support a safe environment, we have begun to administer COVID-19 testing upon admission.
When you arrive at the Clubhouse on your scheduled admission date, you will receive a Panbio Rapid Antigen Test. This is a self-administered, non-invasive nasal swab test, which will provide results within 15 minutes.
If the Panbio test yields a negative result, your admission process will continue. Once you arrive upon the unit, you will also receive a PCR nasopharyngeal test, which will be sent to the laboratory, to confirm COVID test results. You will be asked to remain in your room until the test results are received (usually within 48 hours).
If the Panbio test yields a positive result, you will be requested to return home, and obtain a PCR COVID-19 test from your local Public Health unit. Our local Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health unit will be advised of the positive Panbio test result. It is preferable that you return home, and return to Homewood Health Centre, when you are healthy.
Alternatively, if you yield a positive COVID-19 test result and have travelled from out of province or cannot return to your home, you will be admitted to Homewood Health Centre, and given a PCR COVID-19 test, on the unit. If the PCR test yields a positive result, you will be isolated for 14 days, in a designated isolation room. During this period, you will not participate in regular programming. Please understand that the regular daily rate will apply for the 14 day isolation period.
We want to ensure that all clients and staff remain healthy, and COVID-19 testing upon admission is just one more layer of protection that we are implementing to keep you safe.
Physical Distancing Measures & Other Newly Implemented Processes:
Just as Homewood staff are required to wear a mask at all times, all clients at Homewood Health Centre (HHC) are required to wear a mask at all times throughout their admission. This includes during time spent in our fitness and yoga rooms. You will be provided with up to two surgical/medical masks per day throughout your stay. These are the only acceptable face coverings for clients at HHC.
- During your first 14 days, you will be required to wear a wristband at all times and your meals will be delivered to your unit for you to eat in your room.
- You will have access to computers on your unit during the first 14 days as you will not be able to use the Recreation Centre, fitness or yoga rooms, Library or Patient Dining Room, except during scheduled program use (i.e. Horticulture Therapy, Creative Arts, or Rec Therapy in the gymnasium only, etc.). Registered Massage Therapy appointments are not permitted.
- Temporary suspension of all patient Therapeutic Leave of Absence (TLOA) passes until further notice;
- Restricting client privileges to Homewood Health grounds until further notice;
- We ask that you limit your package deliveries to four (4) throughout your admission.
- Outside referrer tours cancelled until further notice;
- Cancellation of external groups (i.e. AA) until further notice;
- Recovery Management groups transferred to an online format, until further notice;
- Any outside vendors, delivery drivers, etc. are limited and screened;
- Rearranged furniture in dining rooms to encourage distance of clients while eating;
- Group therapy – adjusted programming structures to lower the number of clients in each group. Clients are encouraged to make distance seating arrangements and widen the group therapy circles to allow for 6 feet between each person;
Staff & Facility:
- We have moved to universal masking for all staff in clinical areas throughout the facilities
- Signs encouraging hand hygiene, physical distancing and mask use have been developed, printed, laminated and posted throughout the facility (including in patient rooms)
- Staff are actively screened before entering the facility with a comprehensive screening questionnaire, rapid point-of-care antigen testing, and a temperature check. Staff are directed to be tested for COVID-19 if they meet the testing criteria and are not to report to work with any of the listed symptoms associated with coronavirus;
- Staff no longer use the fitness centre or other common client areas for personal use;
- Housekeeping staff have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of facility with a strong focus on high traffic & high touch areas;
- A COVID-19 Patient Management Protocol policy was established by the Infection Control experts at Homewood in March 2020 and is continuously reviewed and updated to align with the latest public health guidelines;
- External company administered a cutting-edge antimicrobial spray to disinfect high traffic areas, including the common client areas, nursing stations and patient rooms at all facilities.
- OptiClean™ Ionization Air Scrubber devices have been installed across the Health Centre.
- Homewood works closely with all local public health units to ensure we are aligned with the latest relevant guidelines, practices and safety precautions.