Acknowledging Grey Bruce continues to face a surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, the Grey Bruce Health Unit is directing all Long-Term Care Homes continue to operate with some measures from Step 2 guidance, with the purpose of increasing vaccine rates in staff and essential visitors. These measures will assist in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 Delta variant and help to ensure the safety of some of the most vulnerable people in Grey and Bruce.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit, in consultation with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, will move towards full implementation of the provincial Step 3 in a staggered approach in order to mitigate risk. The implementation of the amendments will be reviewed regularly based on a risk assessment and any changes will be communicated as early as possible.
Instructions have gone out to all Long-Term Care Homes detailing the specific measures to be undertaken. Modified Step 3 Long-Term Care Home Memo July 16, 2021. Key components are highlighted below.
At this time, surveillance testing will continue in all homes as per the practice under Step 2 guidance UNLESS the staff member/ Essential Care Giver / Visitor is fully immunized. Daily symptom screening of residents will change from twice daily to a minimum once daily. Of note, the updated definition of “fully immunized” now includes those receiving different COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses.
Eye protection requirements will continue for all staff and essential visitors until homes achieve a full immunization rate.
Changes being implemented with modifications:
· Permitting all residents to go on day and overnight absences regardless of immunization status.
o Restricted to those who are FULLY immunized at this time
· Returning to homes setting their own maximums for visitors based on operational capabilities with potential guidance on minimums.
o Must be able to maintain 2M distance, based on homes capacity
· Permitting buffet and family style dining.
o Family style dining permitted, but NOT buffet style.
· Allowing activities such as karaoke, singing, and dancing.
o Must be able to maintain 2M physical distance.
Changes ON HOLD, at this time:
· Resumption of off-site group excursions for residents.
· Removing requirements/rules contingent on homes’ immunization coverage rates.
Ontario entered Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16, 2021.
Grey Bruce moved to a modified Step 3 on July 16, 2021 with strong recommendations for the public instead of regulatory orders to contain the spread of COVID-19 Delta variant.
See the media release from July 15, 2021 for more information: Delta Variant Concern – Roadmap for Modified Step 3 in Grey Bruce – News Releases (publichealthgreybruce.on.ca)
Grey Bruce continues to see a significant number of people with COVID-19 with 99 per cent being the Delta variant. It is noteworthy that a large number of people who have COVID-19 are individuals that were not vaccinated or became infected as the result of gatherings where COVID-19 precautions were not followed.