COVID-19 Updates

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.

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.