Dear Tabor Village Families and Friends:
Valhaven Outbreak Update
We received some unfortunate news late yesterday that a staff member working at Valhaven has tested positive for COVID-19. This means our outbreak control measures will continue for the next two weeks. If there are no new cases, the safety precautions may be de-escalated mid-month. An outbreak is declared over, in consultation with the Medical Health Officer, after 28 days with no new COVID-19 cases.
I know this news is devastating for the residents, staff and families of Valhaven, but I believe that together will get through this and will be stronger in the end. We need to support each other and remain positive for a better tomorrow. That is the Tabor community way.
How Did We Get Here?
- Valhaven had its first case of COVID-19 onset of symptoms April 24, 2020, outbreak declared 25-April-2020. It is a small facility with 26 beds and 23 residents currently.
- On April 29, all the residents and staff at Valhaven were swabbed for COVID-19
- 2 additional staff cases and 1 additional resident case were uncovered.
- There were 2 additional staff cases that worked with COVID-19 positive residents (symptom onset: 8-May-2020 and 16-May-2020)
- May 18 another resident tested positive symptom onset 18-May-2020
- From May 18 – June 1, there were no additional cases of COVID-19 amongst the residents or staff.
- On June 2 a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
Tabor Village is concerned about the mental well-being of older adults who are spending most of their time in their own rooms. We are aware of the effect of isolation and loneliness of seniors spending weeks and months in a confined space. The situation has unfairly impacted older adults living in long term care and assisted living. Tabor Village is taking a number of approaches to decrease the impacts of social exclusion. These interventions are focused on staff providing enhanced room services during meal times, personal care, therapeutic recreation and housekeeping. In addition, the activity staff have ramped up ways for families and friends to reach out and communicate with their loved one in living at Tabor Village.
At the same time, additional resources are being made available to staff to support the workforce that has been entrusted to safeguard older adults living at Tabor Village. Employees are expressing their fear and anxiety over the pressure they feel to care for others and not to abandon their duties. Professional counselling supports have been offered to employees throughout the pandemic including an Employee and Family Assistance Program.
Valhaven Outbreak Infection Control Plan
Kate Tate, Director, Care Services, and I have been meeting each weekday with Fraser Health COVID-19 infection control staff and public health. As well, the leadership team meets regularly to ensure the Tabor Village pandemic plan is effectively implemented. The health and safety of older adults and staff is the first priority and a responsibility taken very seriously. The following measures continue to be in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19 at Valhaven:
- Ensuring that staff wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose, eye protection and other personal protective equipment as recommended.
- Enhancing daily cleaning practices.
- Maintaining of two meters (six feet) as much as possible and modifying meal services such as staggered meal times, tray service and other strategies.
- Cancellation of group activities and client gatherings while providing one-to-one activity as appropriate.
- Visitor access restrictions and screening measures for essential visitors for residents receiving end-of-life care.
- Providing active staff screeners to ensure staff do not work with symptoms or if they have been exposed to someone who may have come in contact with the virus.
- Providing ongoing staff education by Fraser Health and Valhaven based leadership.
- Ensuring adequate supplies such as hand sanitizer, masks, eye protection, gloves, gowns and other required infection control provisions.
- Grouping of staff and residents to prevent cross over between well and sick individuals.
We Are In This Together
Staying away from your loved one is very difficult and we appreciate that you are cooperating with this request with the goal of keeping older adults and staff healthy. Please continue to communicate as much as you are able with your family member by email letters, phone calls, video conferencing or closed window visits. Outside visits are not permitted by the Provincial Health Officer Orders. When further visitor restrictions are lifted in the future you will receive notification of how the visiting policy will be rolled out.
Caring for Your Family Member
Staff continue to provide care and services to older adults to ensure their safety and well-being while maintaining routines where it is safe to do so. Should your family member’s health status change, you will certainly hear from Tabor Village as soon as possible.
Prayer for Caregivers
If you regularly pray, please include the front-line workers who are working tirelessly to care for older adults to protect them from COVID-19. Please also include older adults who are living in long term care or assisted living and seniors generally who are more vulnerable to the virus and especially those with pre-existing conditions. Family members and friends who are unable to visit in person their loved one are equally impacted by the infection control measures.
For More Information
In an effort to maintain open communication please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like clarification on the pandemic plan procedures at Tabor Village.
Dan Levitt, MSc., CHE
604-859-8715 ext. 102