We finally received great news! Deconfinement is within our reach. The government implemented a great plan, but please understand these are projections and are subject to change according to the population's vaccination rate and the healthcare system's capacity. We will know this week if the Estrie will return to Orange on May 28th like the majority of regions. As I write this text, on May 24th, the Estrie is still in red, so regulations are unchanged. We know for sure that, like last year, we will have a decent summer. As of May 28th, the curfew is lifted for the entire province and we can have friends and family in our backyard: two households or eight people maximum. I cannot remember the last time I had people over! I do not know about you, but my kids will be happy to have a campfire with their grandparents this weekend! Please remember that you must still respect sanitary measures of two-metre distancing and masks to use someone else's bathroom, for example. Measures will loosen progressively until the end of June when the whole province should be Green again; is that not unbelievable? Green!
Obviously, measures in seniors' homes and CHSLDs will differ from the community, but we will keep you informed as the rules loosen. Most residents received their second dose on or before May 20th, therefore by June 10th, three weeks later, they will be COVID-19-protected! 79.1 percent of our active employees are vaccinated with their first dose and 41.8 percent with their second. Our rate is only improving. We are reaching a good immunity level and that will deconfine the residents! Please make your appointment and get vaccinated if you have not already done so. The vaccine is bringing us closer to real life with friends and families and regular living conditions. The residents have done their part; the rest is up to us.
There will be an increase of cases with the deconfinement measures, of course. The people who are at higher risk, like CHSLD and RPA residents, received their second doses, which is huge. An increase of COVID-19 in the community will be normal and expected. As long as our healthcare system can handle the additional cases, we will be fine. Our system has empty beds at the moment, and people at risk for complications received their first doses. We are ready to progressively deconfine while tolerating the expected commnity increase.
There will progressively be a lot more visitors at the Wales with the deconfinement. Please be vigilant with distancing, which is our responsibility. Outdoor areas are already a lot more lively with this beautiful weather. When there are visitors outside, especially at door number one, please leave this space for them. You can use the area at door number six and the employee terrace in the back, which is accessible through the CHSLD stairwell. Masks and two-metre distancing still apply. Visitors no longer have to gown, but the other measures remain.
TESTING FOR UNVACCINATED EMPLOYEES:
As of June 1st, unvaccinated employees working in the CHSLD are obliged to get tested three times weekly and provide proof to their employer. We are supposed to have testing available onsite, but we did not yet receive the rapid tests, and we might ony have sufficient tests for a weekly screening, meaning you will have to get tested independently the other two times. Self-testing must be done in a nurse or LPN's presence. We will get back to you with the proper procedure once we have the required tools. Until then, getting tested is your responsibility.
Please remember that you must stay home and get tested at a Centre désigné de dépistage if you have symptoms. Even when we have rapid tests here, they are not for symptomatic employees. To make an appointment for vaccination, please visit the Clic Santé website.
We had many team meetings lately and we observed one common sentiment: we are tired. COVID-19 fatigue is real. Besides our personal lives, we have to deal with this huge pandemic. Besides protecting our family, we have to protect our residents as well, without regular support and outlets. We could not see our friends, visit restuarants, or travel. These restrictions piled up for us. Deconfinement is right around the corner, but we are also brainstorming how we could alleviate a bit of workload in the CHSLD. We decided to add an extra Clinical Aide shift on days. I announced this new position to the current Clinical Aides on May 19th and we are working on the best schedule template for both shifts that will of course operate as a trial at first.
Once the Norton units are properly staffed, baths will be given on day shift to alleviate evening caregivers. We have been aiming for this bath schedule for two years. The ratios are higher on days than evenings because that is when the baths should be given. On evening shift, when a caregiver must give two baths, sometimes an hour or more passes where there are only two caregivers available to look after thirty-one residents, including supper time, employee meal breaks, sundowning, and agitated residents. There is no room for unexpected events like falls in this scenario.
Day shift clinical aides will be present in the mornings to make beds, tidy rooms, and empty laundry bags, which will be a huge time saver for day shift caregivers so they can devote more hours to residents and their baths. Clinical Aides will bring residents back and forth to the dining rooms at mealtimes, wash their hands, and help feed. They will also do replenishments to alleviate the evening Clinical Aides. They will replenish medical supplies, including the dressing carts, to alleviate the LPNs. They will serve afternoon snakks and do activities.
The evening Clinical Aide will be responsible for thelaundry and supporting Food Services between 4:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., allowing the removal of split shifts from the CHSLD. The plan was presented to non-clinical employees on May 19th as well. The Clinical Aide will be responsible for snacks on evening shift while caregivers have more free time to organize activities. Before the end of their shift, towels and face cloths will be changed so night shift caregivers can start their rounds right away. Wheelchairs will still be washed on evening shift.
Please understand that we have a tentative schedule and that we will go with trial and error. I want you to see how huge of an impact this position will have on you; this new Clinical Aide will alleviate Food Services, day and evening Caregivers, LPNS, and our current Clinical Aides. We will present a clear plan with details and time saved as soon as we are ready. By May 28th, we should be able to post the positions. The current Clinical Aides have a choice to make as to whether they will remain on evening shift or move to days, and then the remaining positions will be posted.
We know we work with human beings and that a routine is not set in stone. I want people to remain open-minded and collaborate. Please touch base with the people with whom you work and help them with their tasks when yours are done. No one should be sitting when someone else is still working. There will be days when we will be short caregivers, clinical aides, or food services. With your Head Nurse or Supervisor, you will make each situation work. There still might be days where caregivers must put laundry away or where a bath must be given on evenings because two caregivers were absent on days, which is okay. Our team provides a twenty-four-hour service throughout this building. Once we understand this fact, we can do anything to which we put our minds. With proper communication, respect, compassion, innovation, and integrity, our values, we can accomplish anything. I am excited about this position and we know for sure the impact will be huge.
I should be on vacation during the last week of June, starting on the 24th with stat days and returning Monday, July 5th. I will not have cell reception as of the 25th until July 2nd, so I will check my voicemails once in the morning and once in the evening, when possible.
Please have a wonderful deconfinement month and get vaccinated to make sure this plan remains in action! Happy Father's Day to the dads, fathers-in-law, and grandfathers here!
Director of Health Services
819-826-3266 extension 224