COVID-19 Safety Plan
Homewood Health Centre has remained fully committed to helping those struggling with mental health and addictions during the pandemic and has been providing services throughout. We have taken several steps to mitigate risk and ensure the safety of all our patients and staff. Some examples include:
- Mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols requiring all staff and patients to employ universal masking and, as necessary, eye protection. All patients are provided with medical face masks throughout the admission and eye protection if required.
- Mandatory screening upon entry for all staff and visitors. Limit of two designated visitors per patient throughout admission.
- Screening and mandatory COVID-19 testing (nucleic acid amplification testing – NAAT) of all new admissions (at the time of admission) with results provided within 15 minutes. Please see below for additional details.
- Mandatory rapid antigen testing (Panbio) for any and all unvaccinated visitors and auxiliary healthcare providers entering the health centre.
- Weekly (or more often) rapid antigen testing (Panbio) of staff members, allowing for early identification of potential infection.
- Immediate, public health-guided contact tracing to identify low and high-risk contacts of affected patients and staff.
- Immediate NAAT and lab-based (PCR) COVID-19 testing of any and all identified case contacts.
- Isolation protocols ensuring that all suspect and confirmed COVID-19-positive patients are placed in isolation/isolation precautions.
- On-site vaccination clinics, offering vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to staff and patients.
- Enhanced cleaning measures in clinical spaces, including installation of OptiClean™ Ionization Air Scrubber and application of antimicrobial spray throughout the health center, including in patient rooms.
- Flexible and responsive unit cohorting, adaptive to any potential infection/outbreak to minimize cross-unit interactions, enhance containment, and prevent possible transmission.
- In the case of individual illness or larger unit outbreak, alternate forms of therapy, including virtual, may be offered depending on feasibility, therapeutic benefit and patient preference.
We are continuously reviewing our internal policies and procedures to ensure they are aligned with the most recent recommendations and scientific evidence. Our number one priority at Homewood Health Centre is to protect our patients, volunteers, and staff.
Referrals During the Pandemic
Referrals continue to be accepted from all provinces and are reviewed for approval by our medical and clinical teams, subject to enhanced screening and intake measures.
For those travelling from out-of-province to attend treatment, we strongly recommend direct flights and that the travel guidelines from the Government of Canada and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are followed.
Potential concerns throughout the screening process can result in a deferred start date of up to 10 days, allowing for possible infection incubation and resolution of illness prior to entering the facility.
Admission Screening & Testing
Active COVID-19 screening and testing is an integral part of the admission process. You will be asked to provide proof of each dose of vaccination to be eligible for exemptions from certain admission restrictions.
When you arrive on your scheduled admission date, you will be asked to conduct a rapid NAAT test (Abbott ID Now) which will provide results within 15 minutes. In some cases, you may be required to take a second, lab-based confirmatory PCR test.
These measures are employed to ensure that any possible risk of infection is detected prior to entry to the facility and allowing our intake team to offer any required support.
Additional Public Health Measures
Those who are not fully immunized will be subject to certain restrictions that will not affect therapeutic programming or participation, during the first 10 days of admission.
Access to some parts of the facility will be limited during this time. Such measures are taken to minimize contact, limiting possible transmission throughout the facility.
Fully immunized clients:
- Have received two doses in their COVID-19 vaccine series,
- Have had 14 days pass since receipt of their last (second) dose, and
- Are able to provide proof of each vaccination dose.
Partially immunized/unimmunized clients:
- Have not received any vaccine,
- Have received only one dose,
- Have received two doses, but not longer than 14 days prior to admission, or
- Are unable to provide the proof of vaccination record.
Visitors to Homewood Health Centre
In keeping with provincial guidelines and local health authority practices, all visitors to Homewood Health Centre will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof as part of the screening process when they arrive to visit. The accepted forms of proof are either a Government of Ontario QR code or a vaccine receipt that indicates the dates of doses, with the second dose occurring more than 14 days prior to the visit.
Visitors will also be required to show government-issued photo ID to verify their identity.
We appreciate people’s choice and understand not everyone is willing to be vaccinated. As such, you have the option of changing your currently designated visitors if vaccination status is a barrier to our new policy. This change can happen only once and all patients are still limited to two designated visitors per admission.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.