What is the best way to prepare our home, residents and staff during this COVID-19 pandemic current state?
Acknowledge what you and your team are doing well.
Continue to familiarize yourself on the steps for prevention, early detection, isolation and notification.
- COVID-19 pandemic planning information that is specific to your needs has been collated and is available on this page.
- Check and recheck your state of readiness. Conduct a facility self-assessment to confirm your preparedness plan (exposure control plan). Use either of the assessments provided below to help identify where additional preventative actions are required. If you would like support in conducting an assessment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Public Health Inspectors are conducting inspections in Personal Care Homes (not group homes or assisted living) for Order compliance. This is separate from the self-assessment recommended above.
- Implement enhanced cleaning. High touch surfaces (light switches, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, remote controls, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily.
- Promote 2 metre physical distancing at all times. Determine if there are things that you can do in your environment that will support physical separation of residents either routinely and especially in the event of illness.
- Promote personal hygiene among staff and residents - hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, avoid sharing of personal items such as eating utensils, washcloths and towels, etc. Alcohol base hand sanitizer should be easily accessible where sinks are not readily available (e.g. dining room entrance).
- Monitor your staff and residents closely, and have your plan visible to ensure all workers will know how to respond if a suspected or positive case is identified.
- Staff Screening
- Personal Care Homes – follow the requirements of the Public Health Order including continuous masking, staff screening and temperature checks, staff cohorting and visitor restrictions. A staff screening questionnaire is available: COVID-19 Information for Health Care Providers.
- Group Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Approved Homes - as a precaution you may wish to conduct daily COVID-19 health screening for all staff and, if possible, for residents and visitors (as applicable). For more information see COVID-19 Information for Health Care Providers.
- If staff currently perform Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMPs) on residents/participants or clients, staff must be fit tested in advance for N95 disposable respirators. A list of AGMPs is available.
- Once you have respirators in stock, fit testing is offered at no charge by the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health by contacting email@example.com. It is important to note that N95 masks are only required when an AGMP is being performed.
- Mental Health Supports. It is critical to observe our own and others' mental health. Please refer to Mental Health and COVID-19 for further resources.
- Engage in healthy activities that the household enjoys and finds relaxing. Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food. Keep things in perspective.
- Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce risk of infection in words your residents can understand. Be thoughtful about how you talk about COVID-19, and try not to worsen any existing stress.
- Help your residents to stay connected with their support networks through the use of technology, phone calls and other means.
- Compliance activities. Understand when and how to use what kind of PPE. Conduct simulations to ensure your staff are practicing safe hand hygiene and are well rehearsed in donning/doffing of PPE. For more information see PPE/Infection Prevention and Control.
- Have a resident move-in/onboarding plan in place. See guidelines for continuing care facilities that you may wish to adopt for your home (as applicable). Refer to the 'Work Standard/Guidelines' section under Continuing Care.
We are concerned about access to sufficient supply of required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- PPE for everyday use includes procedure masks and gloves. Items such as face shields, goggles, gowns, etc are only required when caring for a symptomatic or COVID-19 positive individual.
- N95 respirators are not required for the majority of interactions with a COVID positive person. N95 respirators are appropriate barriers required only when performing an aerosol-generating medical procedure (AGMP) on a COVID positive person. A list of AGMPs is available at PPE/Infection Prevention and Control.
- You are encouraged to maintain existing supply chains/suppliers if possible. Although PPE has been in short supply, this situation is improving and your suppliers may now be able to fill your orders.
- A list of alternative, local PPE manufacturers and suppliers, including a list of Saskatchewan distillers approved by Health Canada to produce hand sanitizer, have been posted on the Government website at Accessing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). New companies are continuously being added to this list, so please check back frequently. The suppliers listed have been confirmed as viable vendors (although this is not to suggest that the vendors have supply currently available).
- If you require support with PPE training for donning/doffing or if you require fit testing of N95 masks, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Ministries of Health and Social Services are exploring an interim emergency access to more specialized PPE (face shields or googles, gowns, etc.) when caring for symptomatic or COVID-19 positive residents. Details are in development and will be provided shortly.
- Everyday PPE - procedure masks and gloves:
- Personal Care Homes - because of your requirement to comply with the Public Health Order to continuously mask, the Ministry of Health has arranged for a supply of procedure masks to be distributed to you. These shipments began in April and will continue for the interim period. Gloves are to be sourced through regular supply chain options above.
- Group Homes - Although not required to continuously mask under the Public Health Order, group homes that support people who meet at least one of the following criteria: over the age of 60; immunocompromised; and/or have respiratory issues are being advised to have their staff wear masks. Continuous efforts are being made to obtain further supplies of procedure masks. Gloves are to be sourced through regular supply chain options above.
- Assisted Living Facilities - source procedure masks and gloves, as required, though your regular suppliers, or consider the alternative supply chain options outlined above.
- Approved Homes - source procedure masks and gloves, as required, though your regular suppliers, or consider the alternative supply chain options outlined above.
I require information in a variety of languages.
- There are translated options of information available from other jurisdictions. If you require assistance finding suitable options, please contact your ministry contact person.