COVID-19 Updates

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, April 13, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Northwood’s Halifax LTC program is fortunate to have been approached to participate in a study led by Dr. Ken Rockwood Division of Geriatric Medicine to understand whether far-UVC lights can reduce airborne viruses (disinfect) and in turn reduce respiratory and other infections in nursing homes. The COVID-19 virus has shown the devastating affects infections have on the senior population especially those in communal living environments.

Please review the attached information on the study. We encourage you to contact the research team for more information on how you can be a part of this important study to help improve the Long Term Care living environment. Contact information is available on the attached documents below.

Thank you,

Dr. Barry Clarke – Medical Director

Josie Ryan – Executive Director Long Term Care

UVA Study Info April 6

UVC Study Info April 9

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, April 8, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Thank you for participating in Northwood’s COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. We are excited to have been able to provide over 2200 vaccines at our Northwood sites.

We are awaiting approval for a last supply of vaccine to complete those Designated Caregivers currently on the wait list. We encourage everyone who has not taken advantage of our on site clinics to access their vaccine through the community distribution programs via Public Health or pharmacy clinics. We appreciate your willingness to be vaccinated to keep our community safe.

Employees will be able to access vaccinations through Nova Scotia Health by contacting Northwood’s Occupational Health Nurse. These health worker clinics will also be ending in the near future and staff will be expected to access the community clinics.

The vaccination phone line and e-mail will be closed as of Friday April 9, 2021.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, April 6, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Please find attached a Special Bulletin from the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health related to the COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

Vaccine Update

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Please find attached a Special Bulletin from the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health related to the COVID-19 Vaccine Program including information on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

MOH Bulletin

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, April 1, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

We want to provide an update, as we understand there may be some confusion regarding the COVID-19 restrictions.

We were very fortunate to receive early access to the vaccine. The impact of the vaccine on the easement of restrictions will come when many people in the community are also vaccinated.

Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these challenging times and work together to balance physical and mental health care needs while following provincial guidelines aimed at maintaining overall safety.

We are working as an organization on solutions to provide greater community engagement within Northwood’s walls while following Public Health guidelines. We are continuously reviewing the guidelines and will decide to ease restrictions as soon as possible. We also have to balance what is going on in the external community keeping in mind the risk variant strains of COVID pose to our internal community. Please see the Nova Scotia Website for these restrictions in more detail, found in ‘Alerts, news, and data’, and ‘Restrictions and guidance’ sections under the ‘Governments Respond to COVID-19’. https://novascotia.ca/CoronaVirus/restrictions-and-guidance/

We will continue to review resident and family requests whenever possible as well as ideas brought forward by staff members.

We are introducing changes to support:

  • Accessing courtyard/outdoor spaces on Northwood’s properties both independently and supervised by staff as appropriate.
  • Creating spaces where residents can engage in social and physical activities on main floors where we can ensure space for social distancing.
  • Creating groups of people who can consistently interact (bubble) while limiting exposure to residents and others.
  • With warmer weather and longer daylight, we will be increasing the times residents can access the main area and outdoors.
  • Increasing activities and spaces for residents to access without staff or DCG present.

We will continue to review changes and do our best to ease restrictions. If you have any specific concerns to bring forward regarding current or ongoing discussions related to restrictions, please approach your RN Clinical Leader, Client Relations Coordinator, Nursing Manager, Social Worker, or other support in which you feel comfortable. Residents may continue to provide feedback through the resident council; the recreation team ensures your voice is heard.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, March 23, 2021

Dear Designated Care Givers,
 
We are excited to have so many of the Northwood community vaccinated, remembering we are not at 100%. While the vaccination provides another preventative measure to protect us from COVID, as we reported there continue to be cases and potential contact areas in the community. We, therefore, need to continue to strictly follow the other preventative measures such as screening and signing in, hand hygiene, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing from staff and other residents when coming into the facilities. This means as a DCG you must remain in your loved one’s room while you are here.
 
We are reviewing the possibility of DCGs and resident access to the outdoors during the resident’s scheduled times off the floors. Individual times continue to be scheduled by floor to maintain internal bubbles for residents. This  would provide access to the main street area and outdoors for all residents in a safe manner.
 
We are happy that visiting in addition to the DCG program has resumed. We are required to follow the guidelines that were in place prior to restrictions. Visits must occur off the floors, in a central location with screening and signing in, hand hygiene, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing from staff and other residents when coming into the facilities. With the warmer weather, we are preparing to resume outdoor visits in the coming weeks as well.
 
We appreciate your patience with the many changes adapting to COVID has required.  We would like to thank those who have chosen to be vaccinated to help keep our community safe. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, March 19, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Today the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. 

Effective Monday, March 22 organized visits to Long Term Care facilities will resume.

The booking process for indoor family visits to the Halifax and Bedford Campuses has restarted. As in the past, there will be two visitors permitted at a time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

BookingHalifax

BookingBedford

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MONDAY, March 1, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues throughout Nova Scotia we understand the public and the Northwood community including our tenants have questions. We would like to offer some additional information that might help explain the provincial rollout.

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan includes 3 phases. Each phase identifies when different groups can receive the vaccine. The plan is flexible to allow for increases or decreases in vaccine supply. Every person in Nova Scotia who wants the COVID-19 vaccine and for whom vaccine is indicated will receive it for free. An overview of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan is available here: 

COVID-19-immunization-plan-overview-poster-en (1)

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, February 26, 2021

Dear Residents and Families,

Today the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. Effective at 8 AM on Saturday, February 27 residents will only be able to receive visits from their Designated Caregivers. There will be no other visits permitted at this time.

Residents will only be permitted to leave the facility for medical appointments. Drives with their Designated Caregivers can continue as long as there are no other passengers, stops or drive-thru visits.

These restrictions will continue until 11:59 PM on Friday, March 26 with the possibility of an extension.

We value the importance family connection has on the wellbeing of residents and family. The required precautions e.g. screening, mandatory masking at all times, signing in, restricted movement within the facility must continue to be strictly followed.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, February 25, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Although the number of COVID cases remains low in Nova Scotia, we must all be vigilant to help keep all residents and staff healthy. As many may know, the list of exposure sites in the community has again started to rise. Please review the attached Community Exposure List.

Some points to remember from Dr. Strang.

  • Numbers are starting to creep back up, we have had 6 variant cases to date. Strang says he is worried about community spread, more people are socializing more with different groups of people. Based on this we do expect higher case numbers in the coming days.
  • Advice is to slow down social activities and keep the same small social circles consistently. “We are still in a pandemic.” Dr. Strang says we need to stick with this for 2-3 months longer.
  • People who go to social events where they don’t wear a mask, they should consider getting a test a week from that event.
  • The more you’re out, the more people you’re with, the more frequently you should get tested, said Strang.

Updated Exposure List for February 25 2021

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, February 23, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Currently the number of COVID cases in Nova Scotia are low but we all need to stay vigilant. There is nothing more important to the Northwood community than ensuring the continued health and safety of our residents and staff. Our most important tool in the fight against COVID is the vaccine. As Northwood continues our vaccine clinics we would like to offer an update on our progress.

We are also very happy to announce that on February 22, 2021, we were advised that Home Support Workers now have access to the vaccine through the NSHA Vaccine Clinics. This is very encouraging news as we continue to keep our clients, residents, and staff safe.

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE:

To date, 1802 people in the Northwood community have received both the first dose and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents – current snap shot.

             Halifax – 324 – 95%

             Bedford – 148 – 97%

Staff– current snap shot.

            Halifax – 392 – percentages not available until the 2nd dose clinics are completed.

            Bedford – 145 – percentages not available until the 2nd dose clinics are completed.

Designated Care givers

            Halifax – 129

            Bedford – 114

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, February 11, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Fall River, Nova Scotia –  Nova Scotia is adding hundreds of new long-term care beds and spending millions more on renovating or replacing seven long-term care homes. To accommodate more single rooms during the outbreak, Northwood was required to remove 100 beds from the Halifax campus. It has been announced that those 100 beds with an additional 44 new beds will be added to a new Northwood long-term care facility in the Fall River area.

The announcement was made on Friday, January 29, 2021, by Premier Stephen McNeil as part of the province’s commitment to make major investments in long-term care beds and facilities to better serve residents, families, and staff.

“We are thrilled with the announcement of a new Northwood long term care facility in the Fall River area. We have been working with a partner in the Fall River area for several years to bring a campus-style community together serving seniors to live as independently as possible. We are thrilled that a long term care facility will now be a part of that campus style community. The campus model has served Northwood for 50 years and we are thrilled to be able to provide this option for living in the Fall River area. This new facility will be designed to incorporate our learnings about infection control and technology to support individuals to have greater independence and control over their environment,” says President and CEO Janet Simm.

The year 2020 was the most challenging year Northwood has seen. As many Northwood staff, residents, and clients are healing, this announcement has helped bolster spirits. The Northwood community is very excited about what the future holds.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 27, 2021

Dear residents and families,

As the second wave of COVID-19 continues throughout Canada our small province continues to do well with only 11 active cases in the province as of January 27, 2021. It is however still very important for all of us to remain diligent and continue to follow Public Health directives to keep COVID out of our Long Term Care facilities.

Northwood’s COVID vaccine clinics have been very successful providing first dose vaccine to over 1150 people within the Northwood LTC community. Over 90% of residents have been vaccinated, with 55% percent of active and close to 40% of DCG at both locations who have chosen to be vaccinated.

Second dose vaccinations for residents, designated care givers, and staff will start on Feb 8 and continue for two weeks. Once we have additional vaccine supplies we will organize additional first dose clinics.

Vaccination is essential to ending the threat of this pandemic however the current infection prevention and control measure will continue to be required for months to come.  Precautions such as screening, universal mandatory masking, social distancing, handwashing and environmental cleaning will continue as is.  We will continue to adhere to all directives from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Northwood continues supporting resident and family engagement to support their mental wellbeing. Video calls, visits, and the Designated Caregiver program help us to do so.

We continuously reassess and work to offer more activities to residents based on the provincial COVID numbers and as restrictions are lifted. Designated Caregivers are able to take residents out of the facility for a drive but within the restriction of no stops or visits during the outing. Despite the provincial vaccine supply issues, Northwood continues with COVID vaccine clinics in Halifax and Bedford.

Residents

Halifax – 93% complete      Bedford – 96% complete

 

Staff

Halifax – 56% complete      Bedford – 67% complete

 

Designated Caregivers

Halifax – 40% complete      Bedford – 40% complete

 

Northwood has completed 865 on-site since January 11.

There were 302 completed at the Nova Scotia Health clinics prior to this.

 

In total, 1167 of the NW LTC community. We are offering clinics in Halifax and Bedford over the next week where we will deliver 50 more vaccines.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, January 15, 2021

Dear residents and families,

It has been a busy and productive week and we are excited to share that yesterday we received our first doses of the Moderna vaccine at the Bedford campus!

Over the last two days we have vaccinated the majority of residents at the Halifax Campus and are thrilled to share that we will now begin the Bedford Campus resident vaccine clinics. The team will start vaccination today, Friday January 15, 2021.

The team has worked hard to prepare for this day to ensure residents and families have been informed and are ready to accept the vaccine. Along with screening, asymptomatic swabbing, wearing masks and physical distancing this is another step to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of COVID entering our building, triggering an outbreak.

We are excited to tell you we are able to offer staff and Designated Caregivers vaccinations on site. Clinics for staff and Designated Caregivers for the Bedford Campus will be held next week. More information will come. It is our plan to offer vaccination for Northwood employees and Designated Caregivers based on vaccine availability and according to the provincial phased approach.

This is such a milestone after all the sacrifice and diligence the Northwood community has undergone in the past year to combat COVID-19.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, January 14, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan, directed by Public Health, includes a 3-phase approach.

Northwood is provided vaccine by Public Health and has been advised to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers who are closely involved in the COVID-19 response (more likely to be exposed to COVID-19), residents, staff, and Designated Caregivers of long-term care facilities.

Tenants who live in Northwood’s apartments and who meet Public Health’s criteria will be eligible fore the vaccine when the province rolls out the plan for the seniors living in the community who are 80 or older/seniors living in the community who are 75 to 79.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 13, 2021

Dear residents and families,

It has been a busy and productive week!

The Northwood vaccination campaign is well underway. As of Wednesday, January 13th, over 225 residents have had their vaccine at the Halifax Campus. The Bedford Campus resident vaccine clinic will begin this week and will be completed next week.

We are excited to tell you we are able to offer staff and Designated Caregivers vaccinations on site. In working with Nova Scotia Health, 591 names were forwarded for vaccination since December 14, 2020.

The first of these clinics will be held tomorrow at the Halifax Campus and will be restricted as per Public Health direction to LTC staff and Designated Caregivers. Appointments have been pre-booked from the list of people who requested the vaccine.

Additional clinics for staff and Designated Caregivers for the Bedford Campus will be held early next week. More information will come.

It is our plan to offer vaccination for all Northwood employees and Designated Caregivers based on vaccine availability and according to the provincial phased approach.

This is such a milestone after all the sacrifice and diligence the Northwood community has undergone in the past year to combat COVID-19.

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – Monday, January 11, 2021

The Moderna vaccine has arrived at Northwood.

Dear residents and families,

Last week it was announced that three of the largest Long Term Care facilities in Nova Scotia would receive the Moderna vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine can be transported directly to each Long Term Care facility.

The Department of Health and Wellness has allocated 3,700 Moderna vaccine doses for the residents, staff, and caregivers of Northwood and two other Long Term Care facilities in the province. These allocated doses will include the first and second shots required for each individual. Our Moderna vaccine clinics for residents will be starting today.

Northwood is extremely grateful to be receiving the Moderna vaccine. We look forward to continuing with phase one of the immunization process and hope to move into phase two in approximately April or May.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – SATURDAY, January 9, 2021

Dear residents and families,

We are all looking forward to a new and positive year. Nova Scotia numbers are trending lower each day but we must all stay vigilant. We all need to ensure we do our very best to keep our community and residents healthy and safe.

On January 8, 2021 government has advised that there will be no change in the guidelines for visitors in Long Term Care. This will be re-evaluated on January 25, 2021.

Due to the increasing numbers of COVID cases in New Brunswick, Steven McNeil and Dr. Strang have announced the tightening of the Nova Scotia border. People entering Nova Scotia from New Brunswick must complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In form before arriving and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

Nova Scotian’s returning from New Brunswick must also self-isolate for 14 days unless they are exempt from the order. For example, people who regularly cross the provincial border for work do not have to isolate and can get a pass from border officials to display in their vehicle.

Any Northwood staff that have travelled and returned from New Brunswick must also follow these directives. Staff that are required to self-isolate will not be paid for during their required self isolation.

People who arrived from New Brunswick or had visitors from that province in the past 14 days should get tested immediately and consider a second test five to seven days later. They should self-isolate while waiting for the first test result. People can book a test at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en .

Permanent residents of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador do not have to isolate if they drive straight through New Brunswick to Nova Scotia with no or minimal stops.

Post-secondary students arriving from anywhere except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador should get tested on days 6, 7 or 8 of their self-isolation. Students arriving from New Brunswick should check with their institutions about any potential changes in residence accommodations related to self-isolation.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, January 6, 2021

Dear residents and families,

The holidays are over and life is returning to our new normal. The new year is starting out with some positive news. Yesterday it was announced that three of the largest Long Term Care facilities in Nova Scotia will receive the Moderna vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine can be transported directly to each Long Term Care facility.

The Department of Health and Wellness has allocated 3,700 Moderna vaccine doses for the residents, staff, and caregivers of Northwood and two other Long Term Care facilities in the province. The process is now in place to start shipping the Moderna vaccine to Northwood while maintaining the appropriate temperature. These allocated doses will include the first and second shots required for each individual.

Northwood is extremely grateful to be receiving the Moderna vaccine. We look forward to continuing with phase one of the immunization process and hope to move into phase two in approximately April or May.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, January 5, 2021

Dear residents and families,

Please see the attached process for resident items to be dropped off at a Northwood Facility:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents may need essential or non-essential items from outside the facility or belongings from home. This process pertains to accepting gifts from family/support person(s) or designated caregivers/individuals who wish to drop off items for residents living at a Northwood facility.

Family Drop off Procedure

HOME SUPPORT DIRECTIVES – MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021

Dear Home Support clients and families,

The year 2020 has been extremely challenging for Long Term Care, Home Support, and the world. We would like to reach out to our Home Support clients who may have questions regarding various COVID-19 directives. Please review the documents attached below.

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 1 UPP QA Home Care

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 2 Home-and-community-Outbreak-Toolkit -for-HC-agencies

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 3 Masking HC Clients Handout

CCIR 107.0 Attachment 4 UPP For Home and Community-Cheat sheet

CCIR 107.0 UPP and HC Client Masking

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 17, 2020

Dear residents and families,

With the announcement yesterday on the easement of visiting restrictions, we are happy to provide the following update.
 
We are close to the holidays and many preparations and schedules are already in place. Our team is committed to increasing the opportunities for resident and family connections. 
 
We will begin the process of increasing the assigned designated caregivers to two immediately with additional participation beginning on Monday, December 21. The process will be the same as previous participation in the program:

  • A maximum of two DCGs designated by the residents or substitute decision-makers. There have been over 200 participants in the DCG program.
  • It would be helpful if the additional DCG could be the one that was assigned prior to the last restrictions. If not, the new DCG will require training prior to participating in the program to ensure they are aware of the process and precautions that must be followed.
  • For Halifax Campus – Please phone 902-454-4408 for more information.
  • For Bedford Campus – Please phone 902-407-8520

Organized visiting will resume on Monday. We will balance visiting with planned events and with the residents ability to come to the main street. Residents so enjoy the ability to come to the main floors. The process will include:

  • Visits will be booked for a maximum of 2 visitors per resident at a time.  We will be prioritizing visits for residents who do not currently have a DCG to enable more residents and family to connect throughout the holidays.
  • Visits will be booked on a first-come basis and will be accommodated in spaces to provide privacy for the visit.
  • Visitors must wear masks at all times during the visit.
  • Visitors must be screened prior to visiting.
  • Non-perishable foods (sweets or treats – do not need refrigeration) for residents to take to their room are acceptable. Food can not be shared at the visit because masks must be worn at all times.
  • If you do bring parcels for Christmas please make sure staff know to ensure items are recorded and labeled as necessary.

 
We are excited to have people back for the holidays. Staff will continue to monitor that precautions are followed to keep residents, family, and staff safe.
 
Happy Holidays!

 

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 17, 2020

Dear residents and families,

We continue to realize the importance of family and resident connection on well-being. Current visitation restrictions will remain in place until December 21.

In order to keep residents safe over the holidays, Public Health has advised residents may not leave the facility for family visits. We do understand that visiting with family over the holidays is very important. As of December 21, the visitation restriction within the facility will be loosened. Our team is reviewing the recent updates from Public Health and will share further information by the end of the week.  

Residents enjoy their time away from their living area so that will be a priority consideration as we loosen visiting restrictions. We need to stay vigilant even over the holidays as COVID remains in the community. The most important goal is to keep all of us healthy and safe.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, December 16, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

We received some great news on Friday evening. Northwood’s Long Term Care Program has been included in the first round of provincial vaccines for COVID-19. The vaccination is voluntary however we are strongly encouraging staff to be vaccinated for the protection of residents and co-workers.

We will be working with the Department of Health and Wellness to organize the vaccination of those selected Northwood staff members. This process will take time and coordination with Northwood and DHW. We can’t offer confirmed dates for the first vaccinations but assure the public that the
process is underway.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, please refer to the attached FAQ.

COVID-19 FAQ Vaccine

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, December 10, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

Northwood and the Department of Health and Wellness acknowledge the importance of quality of life, mental health, and overall well-being of all residents. Residents of long-term care are more susceptible to acquiring COVID-19 and therefore we need to have strong safety measures in place.

As outlined in the attached Long Term Care Guidelines, in order to keep all residents and staff safe, the number of designated caregivers will continue to be reduced from two to one and all indoor visitation will continue to be suspended until December 17, 2020. Please watch for updates on the northwood.care website.

Guidelines for LTC Facilities 2020_12_10

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, December 2, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

On December 1, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced changes to the Public Health directives. Effective today the Designated Caregiver (DCG) Program has been restricted to one DCG per resident, assigned by the resident or their substitute decision-maker. Please call 902-454-4408 (option 1) for Halifax and 902-407-8520 for Bedford to provide the name of the one DCG.

Northwood is committed to continuing this program within the Public Health directives. We value the importance family connection has on the wellbeing of residents and family. The required precautions e.g. screening, mandatory masking at all times, signing in, restricted movement within the facility must continue to be strictly followed. If a DCG is unable to follow all precautionary measures, participation in the program will not continue.

For those DCGs who have not been able to receive a flu vaccine due to limited supply in the community, please advise when you contact the above number and we will provide further information.

These changes will be in effect until further notice. The health and safety of Northwood residents, staff, and family members continue to be our number one priority.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Guidelines for LTC Facilities 2020_12_10

 

FAQ Document

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, November 26, 2020

Dear Residents and Families

Thank you for your patience as we reviewed the recent directive provided by Public Health and respond to the growing number of individuals testing positive for COVID -19. 

  • All general visiting has been stopped and we will monitor Public Health directions before any changes are made. 
  • Residents leaving the facility are currently restricted to medical appointments only. This will be reassessed based on the community transmission situation as reported by Public Health.
  • Resident movement off units has been restricted to escorted visits off living areas. We have deployed our Long Term Care Assistants to the resident living areas to support resident engagement and address social isolation. Residents are having meals in the dining room with physical distancing measures to again support socialization.
  • Everyone entering the facility continue to be screened for symptoms, universal masking continues as well, anyone entering a resident living area must sign in and out to provide contact tracing. As of Friday, November 27, 2020. Staff and DCG will participate in serial testing for COVID 19. This will be done daily within a 2-week period and then re-testing will occur. Testing clinic dates and times will be posted on the website.
  • In follow up to our communication on November 24, we have been able to review our processes and the data on the current Designated Caregivers and medical appointments. Public Health continues to support the DCG program and given the precautions that we have in place we believe we are able to continue this important program. We are however introducing additional precautions. A letter outlining the new Designated Care Program requirements will be provided to each DCG with the understanding that if the DCG is unable to adhere to the measures participation in the program is not possible. Northwood is committed to providing a safe environment for residents, staff, and visitors. We know the importance of resident and family connections and have seen the commitment of the Designated Caregivers to complying with necessary precautions when visiting. We will continuously monitor this compliance as we do for all staff in the facilities.

We understand the impact restrictions have on residents’ and families’ wellbeing and we believe in the benefits of the Designated Caregiver Program and other family connections including virtual calls. Please continue to monitor our website for additional information.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, November 24, 2020.

Dear Residents and Families

Northwood is committed to providing a safe environment for residents, staff and visitors. We know the importance of resident and family connections, indoor visits, and the Designated Care Giver Program, and have enabled these based on Public Health Directives. 

Given the current situation in the community regarding COVID-19 cases, we ask for your patience as we pause our current activities including visiting and the Designated Care Giver Program for 48 hours, up to and including November 26. We will review our processes and determine if any further preventive measures will be required and will send out an update by the end of that day.

We understand the impact restrictions have on residents’ and families’ wellbeing and we believe in the benefits of the Designated Care Giver Program and other family connections including video calls. Be sure to watch the Northwood website for regular updates. You can find Video Call booking information along with other useful information by visiting the link below. We will be sending further information as well as updating the Northwood website within the next 48 hours.

https://northwood.care/services/long-term-care/information-for-families/

Thank you for your patience.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, November 20, 2020.

Dear residents and families,

Please find attached below a memo regarding Long Term Care guideline changes from the Department of Health and Wellness.

CCIR 91.0 Long Term Care Guideline Changes

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, November 19, 2020.

Dear residents and families,

Given the current rise in COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia, we would like to err on the side of caution. We continue to suspend resident outings into the community for family visits and trips until further notice.  

External Medical appointments will continue.

Indoor visits and the Designated Caregiver program will continue. Screening and PPE are mandatory for both.

We would also like to remind everyone the importance of proper mask use, hand hygiene, and social distancing. We all need to work together to keep our loved ones healthy and safe.

Please check the COVID-19 section of our website regularly for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MONDAY, November 16, 2020.

Dear residents and families,

This has been a very difficult year for us all. Northwood is working very hard to be proactive, making sure we have solid plans in place as we move forward in preparation for a potential second wave/outbreak. Every little detail is extremely important to ensure our residents are safe and will continue to have all that they need.

We recommend that residents or their caregiver arrange for the installation of any new phone lines or cable service as soon as possible. If there is a need to tighten restrictions in the near future we may not be able to respond to such requests in a timely manner during an outbreak.

Residents or their caregiver can call 902-454-3367 for Halifax or 902-407-8531 for Bedford to schedule phone and cable installation.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES

Clear communication is paramount during a global pandemic, particularly for those who are unable to see their loved ones due to Public Health restrictions. We received feedback from families regarding Northwood’s communication during the first wave of the pandemic, which included a focus group with families to discuss a realistic plan in the event of an outbreak at either of Northwood’s campuses during a second wave of the pandemic. Care of your loved one during an outbreak is our top priority. You may not have direct access to the care team who is caring for your loved one, as your loved one’s well-being is their priority. In the event of an outbreak in either Halifax or Bedford, the following is the communication that you can expect from Northwood:

PHONE COMMUNICATION – Phone calls will be made to the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) only. Northwood would ask that the SDM inform other family members of any updates.

  • Informing the SDM (of any change in a resident’s condition).  
  • A call to the SDM to inform them if a resident has had a positive test result.
  • A weekly call to provide a general update to the SDM. This may include a negative test result, status of the number of infections on the unit where your loved one lives, a resident room change, etc. Updates on residents receiving end of life care will be provided to the SDM daily or more often based on the resident’s condition and status.  Visiting at end of life will be available.

PHONE VISITATION BOOKING – Booking information is located on the Northwood website under Info for Families.
The website will be updated with information on resident and family engagement opportunities such as :

  • Indoor and outdoor visits
  • Designated Caregiver visits
  • Resident visits to family homes
  • Video calls
  • Medical appointments

WEBSITE UPDATES

  • Locations of new infections
  • Number of new infections
  • Number of active cases
  • Number of recovered
  • Updates on restrictions
  • Frequently asked questions, FAQ Documents
  • Links to critical Public Health Documentation

WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATES

  • Mass email message to the Long Term Care email lists for Halifax and Bedford campuses.
  • Include updates on the number of cases, restrictions, and other general COVID information.

 VIDEO MESSAGING

Weekly online press conference and or video messages. These messages will be posted on the COVID-19 Updates section of the website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MONDAY, November 16, 2020.

Dear residents and families,

Given the current situation in the community, we would like to err on the side of caution and continue to postpone visits into the community. We have suspended outings into the community for family visits and trips until Thursday, November 19, 2020. A decision whether to resume community visits will be made and communicated by the end of that day.

Indoor visits and the Designated Caregiver program will continue with the required screening and PPE. Medical appointments will also continue, where people are screened and contact tracing is available at the medical clinic in addition to Northwood screening.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, November 11, 2020.

Dear residents and families,
 
Given the current situation in the community, we would like to err on the side of caution and postpone resident visits into the community until more is known. We will be suspending outings into the community for family visits and trips until Tuesday, November 17, 2020. A decision whether to resume community visits will be made and communicated by the end of that day.
 
Indoor visits and the Designated Caregiver program will continue with the required screening and PPE. Medical appointments will also continue, where people are screened and contact tracing is available at the medical clinic in addition to Northwood screening.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – WEDNESDAY, October 14, 2020.

Good Afternoon

As a result of the current outbreak of Covid-19 in two areas of New Brunswick, changes have been made to our screening questions for staff entering our facilities.

Visitors:

Until further notice, we are asking that visitors who have travelled to areas of New Brunswick which are currently in the “Orange Phase” postpone their visit for 14 days. These areas are Moncton (Zone 1) and Campbellton (zone 5). We will reassess daily.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, October 1, 2020.

Dear Residents and Families,

Northwood understands the importance of family connection to resident and family well-being. We’ve reviewed public health documents and we are in-line with the directives. We are pleased to provide the following information.

Halifax Booking and Visiting Information

Bedford Booking and Visiting Information

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – MONDAY, September 28, 2020.

Dear Residents and Families,

We would like to update residents and family on recent changes in the ease of restrictions announced by the provincial government. There was originally mention of allowing resident community access. This directive has been changed to visits with family in their homes.

As of Tuesday, Sept 29th residents at Northwood may choose to visit with family in their homes as long as they return the same day, no overnight visits. Residents and their family members/support persons are required to abide by physical distancing requirements, gathering limits, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette, and to wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

A reminder of measures to help keep your loved one safe, such as physical distancing, gathering limits, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette, will be reviewed when a visit is arranged and prior to the resident leaving the facility.

Only residents who are not required to self-isolate and who are not demonstrating signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses will be able to participate in visits. Residents & their family member/support person will be screened prior to the visit.

If a resident intends to leave the facility to visit with family, we ask that you notify the RN/LPN of your area 24 hours in advance to arrange a pick-up and drop-off time. Should the visit be cancelled for any reason, please notify us in a timely manner.

We look forward to this easement as it provides residents and families more time together

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAQs-Easing-Restrictions

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, September 25, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

Northwood has carefully considered the government-commissioned review of the COVID-19 outbreak at our Halifax Campus and we support the report recommendations. It was important to us that we share some updates with you and let you know how we are preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19.

This pandemic has been very difficult for our Northwood community. We continue to grieve the loss of our friends and family. Our wonderful staff continues to come to work every day, providing comfort and care to our residents, and for this, we say thank you.

Our number one priority is the safety, health, and overall well-being of our residents.

WHAT WE’VE DONE

We continue to learn from this experience, and there are many ways we are prepared ahead of a possible second wave of COVID-19:

• We have enough staff in place to care for our residents, and if we have a sudden staff shortage; we know who to call to bring in extra staff in a timely way.
• We are keeping the number of residents at our Halifax Campus at lower levels; this will help with staff and resident movement in our facility.
• We have a full team of housekeeping staff and outside cleaning help is on standby if we need it.
• We appreciated the feedback through focus groups with families and residents about our communication plan. We will keep you updated about any of our pandemic plans.
• While we’ve always had enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff, we have been able to buy PPE carts to store PPE safely on the floors, and closer to residents.
• If we are faced with a possible second wave our medical and care teams will continue to work together to ensure we are providing the best care possible for our residents.

WHAT WE WILL DO

We know there is always more we can do, and we are doing everything we can to prepare for a possible second wave:

• We will keep our occupancy levels lower. As of September 24, our occupancy is at 367, may need to share the previous number so they understand the dramatic difference including 13 double rooms. We keep our resident numbers lower and keep some shared rooms for couples who want to live together or those who prefer to have a roommate.
• We have contacted experts to look at our ventilation systems. While our ventilation system meets all of the current standards, we want to be ready for any new guidelines.
• There will be changes coming to the number of resident smoking areas available and the number of smokers living on Campus. We will keep you updated with this information.
• Screening for COVID-19 symptoms continues for all programs and when entering Northwood. We appreciate how well our visitors are following public health directives for screening, physical distancing, masking, and hand hygiene. We’re also making testing of employee on-site available, so we can ensure our employees can return to work safely, and sooner.

As challenging as the past six months has been for the Northwood community, we are very grateful for the support we’ve received. These are just some of the ways we are keeping our residents, families, and our employees safe. It’s important that we continue to balance the quality of life and safety of residents. We want all residents and their families to know that we will not let our guard down. Our goal is to ensure residents can continue to enjoy the quality of life they expect and deserve.

Thank you for your continued support.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – TUESDAY, September 22, 2020

Dear residents and families,

We have received and look forward to reviewing the recommendations of the government-commissioned review of the COVID-19 outbreak at Northwood. We will take the opportunity to review the recommendations to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep you safe.

I want to assure you that Northwood remains committed to providing the quality care you expect and deserve. Your safety and well-being is important to us and at the heart of our plans. We are always looking for ways to serve you better and thank you for your support.

We continue to follow the direction of public health and have taken steps to make sure we’re ready for a possible future wave of COVID-19. We know it hasn’t been easy. We’ve lost friends, family, and loved ones to this terrible disease. We have learned a lot from this pandemic, and we are applying these learnings to help keep you safe and well. We look forward to reaching a new normal- one where we have a balance between managing the risk associated with COVID-19 while living up to our LIVE MORE Philosophy!

We know family members and loved ones are important to your health and well-being. They are an essential part of your care team. We were pleased to recently increase the number of visits allowed and to reopen services like the hair salon and café. With the support of our Foundation, we have completed a solarium in Bedford and an Internet café in Halifax that we look forward to you using in the coming weeks. As we continue to follow the direction of public health, we want to thank you and your families for following the safety rules.

In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to do everything we can to protect your health and safety. We will take what we have learned to ensure Northwood remains a safe and welcoming place for all. We will continue to communicate with you in an open and timely way and provide regular updates on the Northwood website.

Thank you for your continued support and patience.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – THURSDAY, September 17, 2020

Please find attached an update on the Northwood Designated Caregiver Program that has been recently announced.

Designated Caregiver Program

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD – FRIDAY, September 11, 2020

Northwood CEO Janet Simm addressed the community on Friday, September 11 to provide an update on the situation at the Halifax facility.

EASE OF RESTRICTIONS UPDATE – FRIDAY, August 28, 2020

We are pleased to provide the updated guidelines for family/resident connections and visiting based on recent Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) directives. It is our goal to follow public health directives as they arise and/or change, and take each stakeholder’s needs into consideration while ensuring all restrictions are followed to maintain, first and foremost, a safe and comfortable visit.

Update August 28, 2020

FAQ August 28, 2020

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – WEDNESDAY, August 26, 2020

Please see below for the weekly update for Wednesday, August 26, 2020, which includes a summary of the current COVID-19 situation at Northwood.

Facility cases (total): 345 (no change)

Residents
Total cases: 246 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 193 (no change)
Deaths: 53 (no change)

Employees
Total cases: 99 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 99 (no change)

Additional information –

During the winter, youth interviewed residents of Shoreham Village (a long term care home) and other seniors in the community of Chester, NS. The interviews inspired a music video. It was supposed be recorded in the home at the end of March so we had to create a virtual choir. Thanks to a grant from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia to the Chester Municipal Heritage Society, this video is now complete and includes performers from the ages of 2 to 90, mentally challenged and mentally sharp, professional musicians and people who sang for the first time. The first verse was developed by two youth, (Taylor and Jessie-Lynn) Jamie Junger, Judy Parsons and Jim Henman. The other verses were completed by Jim Henman and Myles Goodwin. Enjoy!

 

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – WEDNESDAY, August 26, 2020

Please see below for the weekly update for Wednesday, August 26, 2020, which includes a summary of the current COVID-19 situation at Northwood.

Facility cases (total): 345 (no change)

Residents
Total cases: 246 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 193 (no change)
Deaths: 53 (no change)

Employees
Total cases: 99 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 99 (no change)

Additional information –

During the winter, youth interviewed residents of Shoreham Village (a long term care home) and other seniors in the community of Chester, NS. The interviews inspired a music video. It was supposed be recorded in the home at the end of March so we had to create a virtual choir. Thanks to a grant from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia to the Chester Municipal Heritage Society, this video is now complete and includes performers from the ages of 2 to 90, mentally challenged and mentally sharp, professional musicians and people who sang for the first time. The first verse was developed by two youth, (Taylor and Jessie-Lynn) Jamie Junger, Judy Parsons and Jim Henman. The other verses were completed by Jim Henman and Myles Goodwin. Enjoy!

 

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – MONDAY, August 3, 2020

Please see below for the weekly update for Monday, August 3, 2020, which includes a summary of the current COVID-19 situation at Northwood. Updates are posted each Monday.

Facility cases (total): 345 (no change)

Residents
Total cases: 246 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 193 (no change)
Deaths: 53 (no change)

Employees
Total cases: 99 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 99 (no change)

Additional information –

We are very pleased to offer an update on the ease of some restrictions in regards to visits, resident’s movement within the facilities, drop-offs, resident programming, hair salon service, packages, smoking, and staff information. Below you will find documents outlining these changes specific to each facility.

Bedford-Update-August-3-2020
Halifax-Update-August-3-2020

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – MONDAY JULY 27, 2020

Please see below for the weekly update for Monday, July 27, 2020, which includes a summary of the current COVID-19 situation at Northwood. Updates are posted each Monday.

Facility cases (total): 345 (no change)

Residents
Total cases: 246 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 193 (no change)
Deaths: 53 (no change)

Employees
Total cases: 99 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 99 (no change)

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020

As many may know, the Department of Health and Wellness has announced new Long Term Care home guidelines for the opening of our hair salon, indoor visits, and common area access. Every Long Term Care home is different and will develop unique plans to offer all of these new directives.

Hair Salon

We are very happy to announce that the Northwood Hair Salon will be opening on July 22. We are working quickly to establish when the Hair Salon operating at the Northwood campuses will be available to take appointments. Please watch our website for Hair Salon updates.

Indoor Visits

We are excited that provincial leaders feel confident in public health to further lift restrictions in Long Term Care beginning next week. In anticipation of this announcement, we have been actively working on plans to support these changes.

We are close to finalizing our plans to support indoor visits and expect to be able to take bookings starting on July 27th. Indoor visits may be booked following the same process as outdoor visits – calling the designated number for each facility and asking to book an indoor visit.

The safety and well-being of residents is our primary concern and we will continue to follow the advice and direction of Public Health as we work together to loosen restrictions.

Halifax Booking: 902-943-0447

Bedford Booking: 902-407-8520

Common Area access

The last several months of social isolation and physical distancing has been difficult for residents and their families. We are taking steps to provide residents with opportunities to spend unescorted time off of their floor/house. We recognize the importance of this step, in addition to family visits and video calls, to support resident well-being while also ensuring that we are meeting the requirements set out by the Department of Health and Wellness for all Nova Scotia Long Term Care facilities.

Beginning July 20th – Residents at our Bedford and Halifax campuses will have a designated time when they are able to access common areas away from their floor/house. This will be closely monitored to ensure that everyone is able to meet physical distancing requirements.

A detailed plan has been developed for each campus which will evolve as we evaluate and as provincial restrictions and guidelines change. Residents will be supported to follow guidelines for accessing common spaces.

We are following the advice and direction from Public Health and the Medical Officer of Health and are aware that if we experience a second wave we may need to once again restrict access to common areas. Now is an opportunity for residents to reclaim some independence and freedom within our facilities while there is a lower risk.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Please find the most recent documents from the Department of Health and Wellness.

CCIR 54.0 Attachment1 FAQ Visits, Gatherings, Salons, Bus Trips Download
CCIR 54.0 Attachment2 Guidelines for Visits, Hair Salons and Social Activities Download
CCIR 54.0 Changes to LTC Directive-COVID-19 Download

CURRENT WEEKLY UPDATE – MONDAY JULY 13, 2020

Please see below for the weekly update for Monday July 13, 2020, which includes a summary of the current COVID-19 situation at Northwood. Updates are posted each Monday.

Facility cases (total): 345 (no change)

Residents
Total cases: 246 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 193 (no change)
Deaths: 53 (no change)

Employees
Total cases: 99 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Recoveries: 99 (no change)

Additional information –

Please note, as Northwood’s active caseload has hit zero, we have transitioned to a weekly reporting structure. Updates will be posted each Monday detailing the situation at Northwood, reporting on the same statistics. If there is a need to increase this reporting structure back to daily updates, Northwood will do so.

Northwood is now offering scheduled, family outdoor visits with our residents. All visits must be conducted safely and in accordance with the guidelines set out by Public Health. For more information, please see our visitation guidelines for Halifax and Bedford.

COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM NORTHWOOD

Northwood CEO Janet Simm addressed the community on Thursday June 18 to provide an update on the situation at the Halifax facility.