ABOYNE – The Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care Home is no longer allowing visitors and volunteers to enter the facility.
Other homes across the county have suspended all “non-essential” visits.
County officials made the announcement on March 14 as a precaution amid concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“This is an extreme measure; however, these are unprecedented times,” states a press release from Wellington County officials.
“Our residents remain well and this measure is precautionary in order to ensure that our residents and staff remain healthy.”
The announcement came just one day after Wellington Terrace administrator Suzanne Schwartzentruber told the Advertiser the home would remain open but has stepped up screening of visitors and is limiting visiting hours from 11am to 7pm.
“Wellington Terrace has received further direction from the Ministry of Health regarding visiting restrictions,” officials stated on March 14, explaining the change of course.
Earlier that day Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, issued a memo to the long-term care sector “strongly recommending” that homes only allow “essential visitors” to enter.
Caressant Care, which operates homes in Arthur, Fergus and Harriston, announced on social media it is following Williams’ direction. As is Eden House in Guelph-Eramosa, and others are doing the same.
Wellington Terrace officials say if a resident becomes very ill or requires end-of-life care, the home will make arrangements for visiting.
“We recognize the importance of social connection for seniors; please be assured that our team will contact families to determine strategies for you to stay in touch with your loved one,” officials say.
Schwartzentruber stated staff at the facility have enhanced cleaning in high-touch areas and have eliminated food and beverage consumption in social areas to prevent the transmission of germs.
Staff are following the same protocol for COVID-19 as they do for influenza, Schwartzentruber said.
Staff are self-screening for fever and respiratory symptoms and are to report travel plans to their managers. And they are to self-isolate for 14 days if they have visited a Level 1, 2 or 3 affected country.
For a complete list of local closures/cancellations due to COVID-19, click here.
For the latest health information regarding COVID-19, visit wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.