TPR continues highest level of protection against COVID-19

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Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak at Kirkland Lake’s Teck Pioneer Residence on December 18th following the positive test of a staff member, the facility’s administrator Tanya Schumacher stated  two more staff members also tested positive. One of those tests was on December 25th while the other was on January 5th.

During a report to Council at Tuesday’s meeting, Schumacher said however two of the three positive tests have been resolved while third staff member remains at home self-isolating.

Schumacher stressed to council the home has been following all guidelines since the pandemic began.

“Since the outbreak was declared, the home has maintained increased vigilance on infection control practices and has continued with the following items:

-Weekly staff swabbing for surveillance testing

-Staff can only work in one care home

-All staff must wear face protection at all times while on duty except for the times they are eating.

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She pointed out on December 26th they did add the addition of eye protection for all staff; goggles, face shields or safety glasses have been provided for all staff.

She added staff members only work on one of the nursing units and residents must stay in their own unit and during the outbreak they must stay in their own rooms whenever possible with the exception of those that are at risk for choking during meal times.

She also points out that group activity programs have been stopped since the outbreak was declared and they have continued with the one-to-one activity programs.

The facility is also doing a number of other things such as increasing housekeeping to what is described as “high touch areas” and they have increased their nursing and PSW staff. Schumacher also points out that residents are screened and assessed at least twice a day for their vital signs and their temperatures.

She added the facility remains closed to visitors “and are allowing only those essential visitors for palliative care or essential caregivers on a case-by-case basis.”

They are also not allowing anything to come into the home and they are awaiting information on the vaccine.

Meantime Director of Community Services Bonnie Sackrider stated “we are reiterating the importance of following all Public Health recommendations and restrictions.  This afternoon’s (Tuesday’s) declaration of a provincial emergency coupled with the stay at home order, effective tomorrow (Thursday) at midnight, will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing concerning levels of mobility, as the province ramps up its vaccine rollout.  It will take all residents to follow the updated strict workplace safety measures, along with the public health guidelines, to defeat the virus.”