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Improved Health, Safety Measures to Protect Residents, Visitors and Staff at Hospice Peterborough

New measures include antigen testing for asymptomatic staff entering Hospice building.

Peterborough – To better protect all residents, visitors and staff, Hospice Peterborough is boosting its health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic by participating in a Ministry of Health pilot program.

The Employer Antigen Screening program provides antigen testing for all staff who enter the building from Feb. 1 to March 26, 2021. It involves a regulated healthcare professional taking a nasopharyngeal swab and delivering results on site within 15 minutes. Any staff with a preliminary positive will not be allowed to return to the building until they have a confirmed negative test. This test may provide false negatives 30% of the time.

“Although it’s not perfect, this test provides another layer of protection as it may identify an individual infected with COVID-19 who might’ve gone undetected through regular screening protocols,” says Hospice Peterborough Executive Director, Hajni Hős.

Other heightened safety precautions at Hospice include requiring all new residents from a hospital to have had a negative COVID-19 swab within 24 hours prior to admission and isolating these new residents for at least 72 hours. Residents admitted from the community will be isolated and tested on admission and remain in isolation. All residents will be tested again for COVID-19 on their fourth day after admission.  

To limit the number of people coming into the building, all community programs and services, are taking place via Zoom web-conferencing or phone. 

Residents are permitted two essential visitors within a 24-hour period and all visitors will be screened including temperature and required to wear a medical-grade mask. Currently, each resident may have a total of six essential visitors who can rotate through, two at a time, every 24 hours. This could change at any time.

“We sincerely apologize that due to COVID-19 restrictions and our emphasis on keeping residents and staff safe, our usual open-door policy for visitors is restricted,” Ms. Hős says. “For those residents in the last day or hours of their life, Hospice Peterborough will carefully and compassionately consider allowing more essential visitors as well as visiting beyond regular visiting hours.”

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