COVID 19 UPDATE

What does it mean to care? Over 40 years ago, Russel B. Wells founded the Briton House Retirement Centre. He had a vision to create a place where residents would find exceptional service, community, physical, intellectual, and spiritual nourishment, and most importantly, care. This notion of care has become a cornerstone of our mission and evermore important today.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Briton House has adapted its policies and procedures to protect its residents. In this process, we have experienced the beauty in our community coming together to care for our most vulnerable population. But Care takes a team. It takes our reception staff, screening every person who enters the building. It takes our healthcare staff, made up of doctors, nurses, and personal support workers, who work to ensure the health and safety of our residents. It takes our servers, who have ramped up logistics to provide room service to our entire building. It takes our maintenance, custodian, and housekeeping team who have adapted their procedures to disinfect and sanitize our spaces at an unprecedented level. It takes our social programmers, who have pivoted programming to continue to engage our residents in meaningful ways, while maintaining their safety. 

Care comes in many forms and requires many people. Our staff and community have worked tirelessly to ensure our residents are protected, healthy, and happy. They are heroes who exemplify the beauty of care and compassion. We have also received overwhelming support and encouragement from our neighbours and resident family members. We want to thank our community for its support and bravery. We look forward to opening our doors in brighter days ahead and welcoming you to experience what it truly means to care. 

From our family to yours, thank you.

Included below is a list of our Covid 19 updates, which have been released by our management team.
To those that follow the Briton House Retirement Centre on social media, we would like to assure you that the health and safety of our residents is our highest priority. As we deal with the outbreak of Covid 19 we have, and are, in direct contact with our residents and families regularly, ensuring that all are aware of the current guidelines and the latest directives from public health.

Included below is a list of our Covid 19 updates, which have been released by our management team. As you may be aware, we have enacted strict infection controls which includes the use of masks by all staff members since the beginning of this Health Crisis. In addition, we are sanitizing of our facility with our new Clorox Electrostatic 360 machine which atomizes disinfectant and then sticks to all surfaces. A short demonstration video is below. Common areas are being disinfected with this machine daily. All public area touch points like elevator buttons, door knobs etc. are being cleaned multiple times a day. We are distributing instructional videos to our management and staff on best practices for hand hygiene and mask protocols. We are constantly reminding our residents of proper hand hygiene and to practice physical distancing in our entire facility. We have removed all couches and love seats leaving only individual seating spaced appropriately. We are also in the process of launching a full Room Service Dinning system so that we can move towards essentially closing our dining room.

Thank you for your interest in The Briton House Retirement Facility and we will endeavor to keep our social media up to date. We trust you understand that, as protocols evolve, our first priority is the health and safety of our Residents and the dissemination of information to Residents, family and staff directly. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our North Toronto Community as we have for the last 44 years.

RegardsThe ManagementBriton House Retirement Centre

 


 

VISITATION GUIDELINES

 

Covid-19 /2020 – Family Visitation Guidelines

The Briton House is pleased to allow our residents to physically see family. However, we need your support and cooperation to ensure their safety. The procedures and guideline set below will help us do that. We thank you for your patience, cooperation and understanding during these times as we work to keep everyone safe.

Mandatory Procedures:

  • Visitors MUST be screened at the front desk upon entry into The Briton House
  • We recommend that visitors are tested for Covid-19 within 14 days of any visits
  • Each visit can accommodate a maximum of two people from the same household
  • The duration of the visit is a maximum of 30 minutes
  • Visitors must bring a surgical mask
  • Visitors must properly wear their mask at all times while in The Briton House
  • A staff supervisor will meet visitors at the reception desk once they have passed the screening and escort them to the designated visiting area
  • Visits will take place in the second floor Atrium and outdoors (weather permitting)
  • When possible, visitors will be asked to take the stairs to the floor on which the visit takes place, as it helps maintains physical distance
  • Visitors are not permitted to leave the designated visiting area for any reason
  • Once the visit is finished, visitors must leave directly through the North Tower main lobby doors on the ground floor
  • Visitors are not to socialize with any other residents
  • The resident / family member being visited will meet visitors in the designated visiting area
  • We ask that visitors refrain from hugging and other forms of physical contact
  • We ask that visitors use the sanitizer available in the facility upon entrance and during the visit
  • If visitors bring gifts/supplies they must leave them at the reception desk to be sprayed and sanitized
  • Each designated visiting area will be sprayed and thoroughly sanitized between visits as per Covid-19 guidelines.
  • Visitors are required to review and confirm, on a monthly basis, that they have watched 4 Public Health required videos on the Ontario Government’s website, as well as reading the following documents:   Briton House Visitor Policy and Public Health Ontario’s document entitled Recommended Steps: Putting on Personal protective Equipment (PPE). Available here on our website: https://www.britonhouse.com/safety-review/

To book a visit with a resident, please contact one of our activation team members:
Matthew Wells at matthew@britonhouse.com or 416-487-3392 ext. 2044
Susan Blye at susan@britonhouse.com or 416-487-3392 ext. 2023

Infection Control Guidelines

 

Proper Use of Masks:

Clean hands with Hand Sanitizer at front desk before putting on your mask
The mask should cover your mouth and nose and should sit above your nose and under your chin. Squeeze the mask wire over the bridge of your nose. Do not pull the mask down at anytime
Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with sanitizer or soap and water.

Proper Handwashing Techniques:

Wet: Place hands under clean, running water.
Lather: Apply generous amounts of soap to the inside and back of your hands as well as your fingertips. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to wash under jewelry and fingernails.
Scrub: Rub hands together and move your fingertips around both hands.
Rinse: Return hands to the running water to wash away soap.
Dry: Completely dry hands (not rub) pat with a disposable paper towel

Social Distancing:

Physical distancing minimizes close contact with others. While visiting residents, please ensure to maintain physical distance.

Things you can do to keep practicing physical distancing are:
– avoiding crowded places
– keeping 2 meters apart when outside of your home
– avoid physical contact such as handshakes and hugs

 


 

OUR COVID 19 PRAYER

 

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

Psalm 118:24-25 (ESV)

 


 

Here one of our staff demonstrates the Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer on one of our North Tower elevators. The charged antiseptic mist coats all surfaces and kills Covid 19, as wells as most other common pathogens.

 


 

COVID 19 UPDATE

 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

September 11, 2020

Covid-19 Resident Update 20

It has been some time since we issued a formal Covid 19 update. As you are aware, things stabilized over the later part of the summer, and allowed us to provide some additional flexibility for our residents and their families. During this period, we have released updated instructions with targeted communications rather than a general Covid update. Having said that, as we say goodbye to summer and shortly enter the fall season, we felt it appropriate to provide a statement on where things stand.

In light of the recent concerning trend of case numbers rising, and with the opening of schools underway, the government has decided to push the pause button on moving out of stage 3 for at least the next month. In response to growing concerns in the City of Toronto, we too have decided to watchfully remain at our current stage of operation. This continues to include, approved residents able to go for walks, social teas, exercise classes socially distanced multiple times a week, as wells as scheduled supervised indoor and outdoor visits. With respect to our meal service, we continue to provide in suite dinning. This is something we discuss regularly, but with the potential risks associated with higher elevator traffic at meals times, and the need for multiple seating’s and social distancing, we feel the warm and familiar experience of dining together would bear little resemblance to what we could provide under the current Public Health protocols and would raise risk levels for our residents at a time when community spread is increasing. We will continue with all levels of required protocols currently in place. In addition, the government of Ontario has updated their protocol for those wishing to visit residents at retirement homes. Two family members from the same home can now, at the same time, visit a resident in a Retirement Home. Also, our Active Screening process will include confirmation that you have watched 4 Public Health required videos on the Ontario Government’s website, as well as reading the following documents: Briton House Visitor Policy and Public Health Ontario’s document entitled Recommended Steps: Putting on Personal protective Equipment (PPE). 10. This will officially come in to effect on September 15 . A link on our Website will take you to the above-mentioned videos and required reading.

We once again wish to thank all of our staff for their faithful diligence in maintaining protocols that protect our residents, and for serving our valued guests well. We also wish to specially thank our residents, who have had to deal with so much over the last 6 months! We know it has not been easy for them or for their family members during this Covid journey. We will continue to watch developments closely over the next weeks, as we approach the fall season. We trust that the beautiful colors of fall give us all hope of the positive and colourful future that we will experience in the days ahead. Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation.

David Smith

General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

July 30, 2020

Covid-19 Resident Update 19 and notice of service charge changes

Once again, summer greetings to all our residents and families. It is wonderful to be able to report that as we write this, Toronto’s infection rate has dropped to the point where the city has been approved to enter stage 3 of the reopening plan this Friday. While we operate on a different set of protocols, it is encouraging to see infections dropping in the community and further steps toward normalcy returning.

Within our facility we have completed another full test of all staff with all results negative, and we continue to have no Covid infections within our resident population. We would like to express our thanks to all our staff and residents for diligently following the procedures and protocols that has helped to make this possible.

As we detailed in other instructional information sent out this week, we have now implemented a neighbourhood walking program for residents in independent living, and will launch a program for assisted living residents shortly.

Starting next Tuesday we will be offering afternoon teas in the north dining room. These will be limited to 10 residents at a time and will be held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2:30 PM until further notice. Sittings will be one person to a table unless a couple live together. Please make your reservations with Susan in the activation department.

We are also happy to report that Eric’s salon is back in operation. Some changes have been made to accommodate new regulations, but you can once again make your reservations with her for your next haircut!

Daily family and friends visits continue under the same protocols previously outlined and many have taken advantage of this ability to reconnect in person. Morning exercise classes are also now available. Please see Susan for the available times.

As you are no doubt aware, there have been significant costs involved in setting up and following the new protocols throughout the facility and given the likely extended nature of this pandemic, we must now implement a pandemic service charge to cover some of these costs. Therefore, effective November 1, 2020 and continuing until the pandemic protocols are lifted we will be implementing a $50.00 per month, per resident, pandemic fee for the first resident in a room, and $25.00 for the second resident in the same room. We look forward to the time when this will not be needed but must recognize the increased costs in this interim period.

Best Regards,

David Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

July 15, 2020

Covid-19 Resident Update 18

Warm summer greetings to all our residents and families. We are very happy to report that we continue to have no cases of Covid 19 and from the beginning of the pandemic, none of our residents have been ill. Our staff just completed a system wide test and all staff members and private care givers tested negative. We are testing our entire staff approximately once every two weeks.

As things continue to improve in our community, we at the Briton House are cautiously moving forward with changes in line with public health guidelines and directives from the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority.

As of Monday July 20th, our Hair Salon, known as Erika’s, will reopen for clients of the Briton House. Please call her on Monday to book your appointment. Please be patient, as she will most probably be dealing with a large volume of calls. She will be following a strict set of protocols to ensure the safety of our residents and her staff.

In addition, beginning Wednesday July 22nd, we will restart our daily exercise classes. These classes will be scheduled as they were in the past at 10.00 am in the North Tower Dinning Room, Tuesday to Friday. They will have a daily participant limit due to social distancing guidelines. There will be a sign-up sheet at the front desk. Please call the front desk to sign up for a specific day you wish to attend. Not all residents will be able to attend every day.

Also, we are hoping to begin an outside walking activity next week to allow residents to enjoy the summer weather and at the same time remain safe. We all recognize the need to begin allowing a more flexible life style for our residents and families, but we are also mindful that we need to remain vigilant in guarding the health and well-being of our vulnerable community. We are extremely happy with the success we have achieved to this point, and look forward to continued success as we move into this next phase.

Best Regards,

David Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

June 15, 2020

Covid-19 Resident Update 17

Greetings once again to all our residents and their families. It’s exciting to be able to report the Chief Medical officer of Health has announced the first stage of the reopening for our communities. This change will allow family member visits to our residents, albeit on a limited basis for now. The operational details of how this will be implemented at the Briton House are outlined below. We also want to report that all staff are now being tested for a second time, and will be tested every 2 weeks under new protocols. At this time all staff and residents are covid free, and this is a precondition for these visits to move forward.

We have put together a schedule for visits that will be coordinated by our Activities department. In order to book a visit please send your request, with your preferred time and an alternate, by email to susan@britonhouse.com. The initial visiting times will be 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and we will accommodate two appointments per time slot. This will allow for a 30 min visit and give us the time needed to sanitize after each visit. Please be reminded that only one family member per resident is allowed under current guidelines. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but we appreciate your patience as we work together to move forward with these long awaited visits and yet keep our residents, staff and everyone safe. Your visit will be confirmed by an email from Susan Blye. When the weather cooperates, these visits will be on our outdoor terrace which is located on the first floor of our north tower. If the weather is not ideal, these visits will occur on the second floor in the Atrium. There will be designated seating areas for these visits.

Please arrive 10 minutes early to check in for screening, and to review our protocols. Please enter the main lobby located at 720 Mt. Pleasant Rd. to be screened. All protocols must be adhered to while on Briton House property. The current protocols are listed below.

1. Prior to each visit, the visitor must:
a) Pass active screening when you enter The Briton House. You will not be allowed to visit if you do not pass the screening tool.
b) Provide a copy of your negative test result for COVID-19 within the previous 2 weeks and attest that subsequently you have not tested positive. The Briton House is not responsible for providing the testing.

2. The visitor will comply with the home’s infection and prevention control protocols (IPAC), including proper use of masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing.
a) Visitors must wear a mask at all times during the visit. Visitors are responsible for bringing their own masks.
b) Education on all required protocols will be provided at the front desk.
c) Any non-adherence to these rules could be the basis for discontinuation of visits.

3. The family member must only visit one resident in the designated area, remain in the designated area during the visit, and exit through the main Lobby when leaving the building. The Chief Medical officer of Health requires that the visiting family member log in and out of our facility.

4. Any additional items brought into the home for the resident must be identified to staff upon entry to the lobby so they may be disinfected by staff, as per all deliveries protocols.

5. Staff will monitor visits to ensure PPE and physical distancing protocols are followed.

Thank you for your patience as we implement these protocols and we will continue to inform you of any changes.

Best Regards,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

June 12, 2020

Visiting at Briton House

As many of you are aware the Provincial Government is easing its restrictions for visits in Retirement Homes.

This is allowed starting June 18, 2020. We at Briton House are pleased with this change that will allow our residents to physically see family. We are working hard to finalize our policies to ensure safety for our residents, staff and those visiting.

We will be sending out a Covid-19 update at the beginning of next week to communicate how this will be rolled out here at The Briton House.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together to keep our community safe.

Best Regards,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents, Families & POA’s

May 26, 2020

Covid-19 Resident Update 16

We are pleased to report that as of this morning, May 26, 2020, the Briton House is no longer
classified as in Outbreak. All precautionary quarantines are suspended and residents are free to move about the complex as usual. We continue to follow infection protocols and residents are reminded to wear their masks when they are outside of their rooms or if a staff member enters their room. This Outbreak designation was the result of a system wide test of more the 400 residents and staff. As previously noted, we had 2 asymptomatic residents test positive for Covid-19 and as a result some floors were isolated and precautions increased. Since both these individuals showed no symptoms, we elected to retest these 2 residents and both tested negative twice within a 24 hour period. As a result, we took exception with Public Health to the continued Outbreak designation and the resulting extended isolation for a number of
residents. We remain confident of the procedures in place and our infection control success to this point. We have also been working on ways to engage our residents while at the same time keeping them safe. For those who wish to communicate with family, please take advantage of our Facebook Portal located in the Atrium. Susan Blyth in our activation department can help you set up a video call to stay connected with your family. We are also about to launch a mini concert series with Matthew Wells performing on Guitar with vocals on each floor. Residents will be able to open their doors and watch and listen from their suite entrance. Stay tuned for more details. We continue to watch for changes in Public Health guidelines, which we trust will give us additional latitude in allowing more flexibility with respect to engagement with Family. We will keep you posted if and when we can move forward with new protocols.

Thank you for your patience and support during this challenging time and we trust the positive news of our exit from Outbreak and additional mobility for some of our residents is welcome.

Best Regards,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents

May 19, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 15

Good News!!

We would like to further update all residents, staff and families regarding system wide testing results that we have completed here at the Briton House. You will remember in our last update that we indicated 2 residents had tested positive although they were asymptomatic.. On the advice of one of our physician’s we tested both residents again 4 days following their original positive test. We did two tests 24 hours apart as per guidelines. Both tests have returned negative for both residents. It is extremely positive news. As a result of this positive news , we feel it is entirely appropriate to say that the Briton House has had no active Covid-19 cases among our residents to date.

We have spoken to Public Health about these new results and they are looking at how to categorize us. We do not feel an Outbreak designation is appropriate. A number of staff requested additional tests for peace of mind, and all of those tests have come back negative as of this morning. We currently have no outstanding or pending results. The one asymptomatic staff member, who tested positive 12 days ago, remains asymptomatic and in good health at home. As mentioned before, all employees in close contact with that one positive employee have tested negative and a number were retested and also came back negative. It is reassuring that the infection protocols we have put in place from the beginning, continue to protect our staff and residents. We are thankful for the hard work of our employees and continue to reinforce adherence to infection control protocols.

There seems generally positive news in the community, as infections country wide continue to move lower. We seem to have come through the peak infection period for the moment, and the results here at the Briton House have been very positive! We thank you for your support and we will continue to update as events warrant.

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents

May 15, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 14

Once again, greetings to all our residents and their families, we trust that your mother’s day observance while clearly difficult without physical touch was, none the less memorable in a positive way. During this last week we were thankful to be able to distribute small gift bags from a church group. In addition, we served a wonderful steak dinner complete with cheesecake, wine and also a card and a flower to each lady which we hoped helped to brighten the day!

As you may be aware, we moved forward with facility wide testing, despite Toronto Public Health advising this was currently optional in Retirement Homes. We felt it was in the best interest of our residents and staff, so we moved forward with testing of all staff and residents, totaling some 400 tests. This testing also included outside contracted care givers and any contractors with routine work in the buildings. We had intended to wait until all test results had been received to issue an update, but as of this moment, having only 3 staff members outstanding, felt it important to inform residents, staff and families where things currently stand.

Of the approximately 200 staff tests done, all but 3 have been received and all are negative except one asymptomatic dish room employee. The individual in question is in self isolation at home and remains asymptomatic. All staff in close contact with this employee tested negative. We retested those employees in close contact and they again tested negative. Out of an abundance of caution, we have quarantine floors 10, 11 and 12 in the South tower as this staff member may have had brief contact on those floors. We have received all resident tests from these quarantined floors and all are negative. As we have said, the employee remains at home in self isolation and remains asymptomatic. This information is important, as medical evidence indicates that asymptomatic individuals are much less infectious than those displaying symptoms.

It should be noted that from the beginning of this outbreak all staff have been wearing masks, and as of three of weeks ago, we mandated residents also wear masks when outside their rooms. This protocol, we believe minimizes potential spread of infection with asymptomatic
individuals who are not caught by twice daily temperature screening and monitoring by our staff.

All 205 resident tests have been completed, and all results received as of this afternoon. We received two positive test results today. Both residents are asymptomatic having no fever and appearing well. Both of these residents have private care givers. These residents are in isolation and their private care givers will be attending their rooms. One resident resides in the separate attached Mercer House, and occupies the entire top floor. The other resident resides on the 5th Floor South Tower. This floor will be quarantined for 14 days. These asymptomatic residents will remain in their rooms for at least 14 days from their test date, which was on Monday May 11th. Additionally, they will remain quarantined until they have two negative tests within a 24hour period. As mentioned already, both residents are well and are now 5 days past their date of testing. We know that to test positive one has to have been infected at least 2 days prior to the test. This would indicate infection a minimum of 7 days ago. Remaining asymptomatic at this point is a positive sign.

Please Note: As a new directive, we are asking all residents to wear your masks when any staff member enters your room.

As always, we will continue to keep you informed of situational changes as they become apparent. As owners, we remain engaged onsite daily and are ready and able to implement public health directives as well as our own safety initiatives in the best interest of all staff and residents. We want to continue to emphasis that system wide testing is the only way to identify asymptomatic individuals, and this testing should be perceived as a positive step in managing and safeguarding the residents and staff here at the Briton House. We understand these are challenging times, and we wish to thank all of our staff and residents for their hard work, diligence and cooperation. We feel the results are broadly positive and show infection control protocols and additional steps, like system wide testing, are safeguarding our facility. We remain confident that we will continue to have positive outcomes in the days ahead and look forward to welcoming families and friends in brighter days ahead.

Best Regards,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

May 6, 2020

Covid-19: Residents and Families Update 13
Re: Mother’s Day Deliveries and Testing for all Residents and Staff

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we have received many inquiries about gifts and deliveries. Although these are uncertain times, we can say with confidence that our residents have truly caring and thoughtful family members. Thank you for your kind gestures and for helping our residents stay connected to family. The reception desk will be accepting Mothers Day deliveries. There are however, gifts that are safer than others. We must remain diligent in maintaining protocols designed to protect our residents and keep us COVID-19 free. With that in mind the Briton House team has come up with gift suggestions that will help maintain the safety of our community. Flowers, for example, are an unsafe delivery and will not be accepted. Studies have shown that the coronavirus can last on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and plastic up to 72 hours. When we receive packages, we sanitize them before they are delivered to the residents. Flowers are difficult to sanitize and are wrapped in plastic, which can host the corona virus for a longer period of time. As part of our precautionary measures, we are asking family members to consider alternative gifts such as boxes of chocolates, care packages, or cards. These items are more easily sanitized, and will help us ensure the safety of our residents.

As you may be aware, the Ontario Provincial Government has mandated that all residents and staff in Long Term Care and Retirement Homes in the province be tested. The Briton House is currently Covid free, and we trust this testing will prove that this continues to be the case. Facility wide testing will be initiated shortly and completed no later than May 15th, 2020

Thank you again for your cooperation,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents

April 23, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 12

We are pleased to extend greetings once again to all our residents and their families. We are encouraged that Ontario as whole appears to have, at a minimum, seen its infections stabilize and here at the Briton House we remain Covid-19 infection free in both our residents and staff.

We want to acknowledge the many encouraging emails and online comments from families for both the wider care community and our staff more specifically. These words go a long way in lifting spirits and encouraging continued excellence in the care our staff strives to provide.

If you have been following our updates during this crisis, you are likely aware that we made aggressive operational decisions early on based on what we believed was the most reliable data. This resulted in; activity curtailment, mask wearing for all staff, restrictions on workers, restrictions on guests, as well as other moves, sometimes weeks before government mandates were announced in these areas. Further, at this stage of the outbreak we want to make sure we do not let our guard down, as the risk is still very evident. As such, we are moving to implement another protocol change to increase the security of our residents.

As we noted previously we were able to implement our staff masking policy early on because we had a good supply of masks that would have allowed us to continue the program for many months even if no new stocks were obtained. We are pleased to report however that we have been able to obtain fresh supplies of both surgical masks and N95’s from various sources and therefore we are confident we can continue with this protection program for an extended period of time if needed. This ample supply will allow us to begin the following new protocol to further protect our residents.

By Monday April 27, we will have delivered a surgical mask to every resident and we asking that you wear it, whenever you are outside of your suite. This would be in the halls, elevators and common areas such as the atrium. This action will help protect, you from others, as well as those around you, should you be unaware of your own infection. While the mask is added protection for all, we continue to encourage you to maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others in our common areas. We realize wearing a mask is an inconvenience to all our residents, but it follows advice from a number of experts and is even required in certain jurisdictions around the world.

We understand that none of these precautions can guarantee we will never have an infection but we feel strongly that this measure, together with all the others, will greatly improve the likelihood that any infection would be limited in scope. We have all seen the consequences in the news of realizing too late that an infection has taken hold in a facility and we remain committed to all reasonable preemptive measures to see that this does not happen at the Briton House.

Once again we reach out to our residents and thank them for their cooperation and willingness to adapt to these thankfully temporary measures.

Regards

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents

April 15, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 11

As we continue to move through this challenging time we thought it appropriate to once again reach out to our residents, family members and staff. There has been no significant change to protocols that we have been following for some time now. We continue to work to improve our Room Service and having significantly sped up delivery, we are looking at all other aspects of the service to continue to provide our residents with well-balanced and nutritious meals.

Infection control protocols remain firmly in place. We continue to restrict staff from working at any other facility or high- risk employment. We have ample supply of PPE currently, and continue to strictly enforce the wearing of masks by all staff in our facility, as we have done since the early days of this crisis. Building sanitizing remains a priority and continues daily throughout the facility.

We have hired additional staff in a number of areas, including the dining room, to assist with Room Service and also Health Care, to make sure we can maintain staffing levels. Our large toaster order has arrived and we will begin rolling them out in the next day or so free of charge to residents who request them.

Despite what we unfortunately see occurring in the Long Term Care sector, and the concern we all share for those effected, we do not currently have any cases of Covid-19 in The Briton House, and the Retirement Home community in general continues to fair well during this crisis.

As some small positive signs begin to slowly emerge around the world, we understand that the operation here will have to maintain strict protocols for some time. Our exclusive focus is on the health and wellbeing of our residents and enforcing all current protocols to that end. At the same time, we are looking forward to the warmer weather and considering ways we could facilitate outdoor family meetings. As the weather warms up, we will explore options in this area, always keeping in mind the Briton House and Public Health’s operational protocols and restrictions.

In addition to the measures we are taking to ensure our residents safety, we are also implementing programs that will help them maintain healthy minds and spirits. For the duration of Covid-19 the Briton House team will be introducing community art projects that residents can contribute to through prompted instructions and guides. Residents will be invited to interpret works of art through our cable service on channel 57, and make journal entries through question prompts delivered in their mailboxes. After the pandemic has passed, their works will be brought together to form a large community project. The details of this are still formative, but we hope to begin rolling this new project out next week. We are looking at other ideas as well, where we can maintain social distance and existing protocols but engage the considerable talent and spirit of our residents in meaningful ways, even in the midst of challenge.

We understand the sacrifice our residents and families are making during this difficult time, and we look forward with optimism when this current sacrifice will be rewarded with better days ahead.

Regards

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents

April 8, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 10

As you know, we began our Room Service dinning protocol this past Monday. We have very much appreciated your patience and understanding as we continue to improve our service. We are hiring additional staff and our existing staff, including management have all been involved and working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible for our residents. We are happy with the significant progress we have seen daily and that will continue.

One of the issues we are dealing with is toast. It is logistically very difficult and inefficient to make toast for all residents in the morning and it will indeed be cold by the time it is delivered. In order to deal with this, we have ordered a significant number of toasters for our residents and we will be providing them free of charge. We did this with wooden “TV Trays“, delivering about 65 to residents who needed them. We will begin rolling out toasters for those that don’t have them next week. We will deliver bread to residents with their breakfast tray if they want toast, and they can make it in suite ensuring it will be fresh and hot.

We would like to request our residents stay in their rooms during meal delivery times so that the elevators remain free for our staff. This will greatly speed up our service, and insure that you will be in your suite to receive your meal. We would therefore request that you remain in your room for following times during the day:

Breakfast7:30 am to 9:00 am
Lunch11:30 am to 1:00 am
Dinner4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

On the administration front, we have set ourselves up to receive Interac E Transfers to facilitate your payments to us. Those on the direct debit program do not need to do anything, as that system has not changed, but for those that rely on cheques and have access to an online banking service, this is a very convenient option. From within your banking application, navigate to the Interac E Transfer area, and send your payment to payments@britonhouse.com. That’s all you need to do, there is no sharing of passwords or any other steps, and the payment is secured within the Canadian banking system. When you are sending your payment please be sure to include the room number and invoice number being paid in the comments area for the payment. Your bank will have predetermined E Transfer limits that may exceed the amount owing, but you can ask your bank for higher limits which will allow for a single payment to cover the amount owing. If you must, you can divide your payment in two, and pay it over two days to stay within your daily limit.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as all of our staff, management and ownership team work tirelessly to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our residents. I know we all look forward to being on the other side of this and as the Queen so eloquently put it –

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.”
Queen Elizabeth II

Regards

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 30, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 9

The Briton House Retirement Centre continues to make the health and safety of our Residents and Staff our highest priority, as we navigate a hopefully limited but difficult time. We continue to keep you updated on our latest Protocols as they evolve during this situation.

As you are aware, the building has been closed to visitors for some time now and we, early on, instituted the wearing of masks by all staff while in the building, protecting both residents and staff. In addition, we have also restricted residents from leaving the building in order to reduce exposure in the community. We understand how difficult this has been for our residents, but we continue to encourage them to spend time in our large outside terrace for fresh air when the weather permits, and our lovely indoor garden, when it does not. Physical distancing is being practiced in these areas as we appropriately space seating, and continue to have these as safe places for our residents to relax outside of their rooms. We continue to sanitize the building every evening with our Electrostatic Clorox machine, and clean common area touch points with staff exclusively dedicated to common areas.

A key change we have been implementing since last weekend has been the closing of our building to different staff groups and bringing the vast majority of care we provide in house. We have been asking staff to choose to work in our facility exclusively, or they will not be able to continue working for us in the near term. Last weekend (LHIN/CACA) and the Briton House, came to a temporary agreement to have our staff provide the care (LHIN/CCAC) they would usually provide to our residents. We have also closed our facility to anyone working in the Long-Term Care Sector. Although there have been some challenges, we have been successful in adapting our staffing and scheduling to meet the needs of our residents, while reducing or eliminating outside staff from entering the building.

Over the weekend we have closed the Hair Salon in our facility. We had previously limited the salon to two residents at any one time for Physical distancing, but had not determined to close the salon. To be clear, this was only available to our clients within the building and the employees operating the salon were being screened and masked like all of our employees. It was our desire to potentially keep this operating, as we look at ways to combat mental health concerns and keep low risk activities possible, but we have decided that, in an abundance of caution we will close the Salon for the next two weeks and then re-evaluate.

As you know, we have moved to two seatings for Lunch and Dinner, and we have been offering Free Tray Service for those who wished to remain in their suite. This has been effective in reducing traffic in our elevators and significantly improved our Physical Distancing goals. Having said that, we wish to further enhance physical distancing by moving to a full Tray Service Dinning system and will be transitioning to delivering meals to each resident going forward.

This will take a number of days to fully implement and we will keep you updated as to our progress and timelines. When this is implemented, our residents should continue to feel free to move around our facility, but we will be essentially closing our main dining rooms and all meals will be delivered to each resident’s suite. If a resident was to forget to remain in their suite for dinning, we would, of course, serve that individual in the dining room on a one-off basis.

Menus are not changing and the wonderful home cooked meals we have been providing will continue, but they will shortly be delivered free of charge to our residents. When this change is fully implemented, we will be restricting elevator loads to no more than 2 people at a time. Without the movement of residents for dinning we believe this is achievable as residents will access the elevators in a more random pattern.

We will continue to update you as we all navigate this difficult time and thank you for your support and cooperation as our staff, management and ownership team work tirelessly to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our residents and staff here at the Briton House.

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 23, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 8

As we continue with our Covid-19 protection protocols, the isolation of our residents continues to be one of our primary goals. As a result we have asked all residents to not leave the building. If you are in need of something from a local store we will acquire it for you so you do not have to go outside. We always stock basic supplies like soap shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and we will expand those offerings during this time. This will allow us to meet these small needs of our residents and reduce movement in and out of our building.

The south tower lobby has now been closed so we can more fully monitor all staff coming into the facility through the north lobby only. Residents are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful atrium and when the weather allows shortly you can use our outside terrace on the north side of our building (1st floor). But it is our strong desire to eliminate resident movement in and out of the building.

We continue to actively sanitize the entire building including the elevators and all common touch points. Additionally, we are also sanitizing every door knob on every guest suite as part of our routine cleaning. This is done by an individual staff member assigned only to common area sanitation, not our housekeepers who clean our resident’s suites. Further, we have hired additional staff to assist in executing the many layers of additional protection we are providing.

Today we began taking the temperature of all residents in the building at lunch and will continue to do so in the future. This is a very non-invasive procedure and the infrared thermometer doesn’t need to be very close to you to get a reading. We have been doing this for every staff member that enters the building and it is now prudent to extend this procedure to our residents. As you know we continue to provide masks to all of our staff and have been doing so for over a week now as an additional layer of protection. To the best of our knowledge we were one of the first retirement homes to implement this protocol and most are still operating without this protection in place.

We are making daily lunch time announcements reminding everyone of current protocols;

  • Wash your hands before leaving your suite and then wash them again when you return
  • Never touch your face
  • As best you can, maintain a six foot separation from other residents, this may mean
    allowing an elevator to pass if it is already occupied by others

To help with social distancing protocols we will be offering free tray delivery for lunch and dinner beginning this Wednesday if you so desire.

These are unusual times, and we want to assure our residents, their families, and our staff, that we are diligently working round the clock to provide a safe and healthy environment. Even as residents now must remain inside our building, you can do so in a safe and comfortable environment with your needs met.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 19, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 7

I’m sure that all of you are following the newscasts and announcements made by various politicians and Public Health officials. In response to those announcements and as part of our own developing protocols and procedures, we have made further changes in our day to day operations.

Firstly I would like to say that the world has changed and our community at Briton House has also changed in many ways over the last few weeks. This has all been done to help protect our residents as well as our staff, and we appreciate the support we have had as we implement these changes. We look forward to the time when these can be relaxed and life in our community return to normal.

As you know by now all staff are wearing masks whenever they have any direct contact with you. This applies to not just health care workers, but also dining room servers, housekeepers and anyone who has contact with you. While no employees or workers are allowed in the building with symptoms, the mask will help reduce the, hopefully small, chance that someone with no symptoms spreads the virus. We have been able to implement this step, using supplies stocked ahead of time for just such an occurrence. Further, we are using these supplies in such a way that we can continue this program for many weeks even if no new supplies are forthcoming.

As a result of the mandate from Public Health to limit gatherings to no more than 50, we are modifying our dining times. We are now beginning the process of going to two sittings in both dining rooms in order to comply with this directive. The two sittings for meals will be:

  • First Lunch Sitting: arriving at 11:45 am departing no later than 12:25 pm
  • Second Lunch Sitting: arriving at 12:35 pm departing no later than 1:15 pm.
  • First Dinner Sitting: arriving at 4:45 pm and departing no later than 5:25 pm
  • Second Dinner Sitting: arriving at 5:35 pm. and departing no later than 6:15 pm.

Based on our survey of your preferences at lunch today we will be assigning seating’s for lunches and dinners beginning tomorrow, March 20. We will do everything we can to accommodate your preference, but we might have to assign some to a sitting time that they may not prefer in order to meet the target. We will let you know your seating times at dinner tonight.

Please remember that the situation in the broader community is likely to get worse so limiting your exposure to outsiders will help with what we are doing internally to protect us from the spread of Covid-19 virus.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and understanding,

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 14, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 6

As a result of a directive from the Ministry of Health, we are now restricting visitors to only those visiting severely ill relatives. The directive we are following is copied below

Important Update – Only Essential Visitors in Retirement and Long-Term Care


The Ministry of Health in coordination with the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility has issued a memo which strongly recommends that retirement communities, long-term care homes and other congregate care settings only allow essential visitors until further notice. The ministry is identifying essential visitors as those who have a resident who is dying or very ill or a parent/guardian of an ill child or youth in a live-in treatment setting. These visitors must continue to be actively screened into these settings. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter. No other visitors should be permitted to enter these premises, instead they should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available. 

Although we at the Briton House acknowledge the difficulty of this situation, we remain committed to following all the best guidance in safeguarding you and your loved ones, and we look for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented event.

Thank you for your co-operation!

David C. Smith

General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 13, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 5

As medical knowledge about Covid-19 increases a key factor gaining the most traction in preventing its spread is social distancing. Further, the earlier that it is implemented the higher the likelihood that it will have the desired effect. While we do not currently have any infections, as a preventative measure we are suspending all entertainment and social activation programs. This will include movies, singing events, musical performances, afternoon teas and most other social gatherings. We will also no longer offer guest meals in our restaurant until further notice.

As we have done in previous letters, we encourage residents to not engage in these activities outside of our facilities as well. The more we are able to isolate ourselves from the community, and possibly from a resident that may become infected, the better off our whole community will be.

As an organization, we have implemented a number of isolations over the past number of years, and we stand ready to do so again should the need arise. The Provincial government has been active in supporting the long term care and retirement industry and we look forward to even more practical support in the upcoming weeks.

We remind our residents and families that we continue to ask visitors to postpone visits to our facility and only come if absolutely necessary. Our screening for visitors, staff and workers is now in full force and we are denying entry to anyone who fails the screening. For your information, the screening asks the following:

Do you have now or have you had in the last 14 days a:
       Runny Nose        YES____ NO____
       Fever                YES____ NO____
       Cough             YES____ NO____
       Trouble Breathing YES____ NO____

Have you traveled outside of Canada in the last 2 weeks?
       YES____ NO____
If you answer yes to any question you will not be allowed entry.

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation!

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

NOTICE TO ALL STAFF

March 12, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Policy Update 1 for:

Staff, those providing service to our residents or working in the building.

We have already implemented visitor screening, and are now implementing screening for staff and occasional workers. Effective immediately all staff, as well as any service employee will only be allowed into the building under the following conditions:

  1. All staff and workers are to enter the building through the North Tower Lobby only.
  2. For their first shift of each week all staff members must complete and sign the screening form before clocking in or changing. If you travel or if you experience any change in your health conditions during the week complete another form.
  3. Other workers must complete the screening form each day.
  4. If you fail the screening than you will not be allowed to enter.
  5. If you are sick or have a noticeable cough, runny nose, sore throat, or fever then please stay home, see your doctor and contact Public Health.
  6. All individuals providing service to our residents or working in the building having passed the screening process must wear the Approval Sticker at all times while in the building. If you see a visitor or an outside worker in the building at any time and they are not wearing their Approval Sticker please politely confront them by asking them to please check in at the Front Desk. If they have lost their sticker they may get a replacement at the Front Desk. (They may be asked to complete the screening process again)

All those just visiting our residents will continue to go through a similar screening process.

If you have any questions regarding these procedures and policies please contact your Supervisor or myself for clarification.

Thank you for your co-operation,
David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

Notice to All Residents and Family

March 11, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update 4

We are most thankful that to date we have not had Covid-19 arrive at our location and we remain in touch with City and Provincial health departments to ensure best practices are being followed in order to reduce this risk going forward. While we have asked that residents and families work together to reduce visits to the facility, those that feel they must visit will be screened and instructed at our north tower entrance as follows:

  1. Visitors are to report to the North Tower reception desk, sign in and complete the screening form.
  2. If they answer “yes” to any of the questions then they are not allowed entry to the building
  3. If they appear sick or have a noticeable cough etc. they will not to be allowed into the building.
  4. Visitors will be asked to reduce their social interactions in our common areas.
  5. All visitors who pass the screening process must use the hand sanitizer provided and wear the approval screening tag at all times while in the building.

The screening process above will be applied not only to visitors but all staff and any occasional workers on the premises.

Once again, in order to help prevent its arrival and spread as well as other possible infections we wish to remind you of the essential need of regular hand washing. Antibacterial soap is located in every public washroom and sanitizer is available throughout the building including the entrance to the Dining Room. Further, we, together with Public Health, strongly advise against going out to highly populated locations such as malls, restaurants, and public gatherings.

Please inform your family and friends who feel they must visit of these restrictions and that we appreciate their full and honest co-operation in assisting us to protect you, our residents as well as our staff and their families from this virus.

Thank you for your co-operation!

David C. Smith
General Manager

 


 

March 9, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update

As we continue grow in our understanding of the Covid19 virus and the best preventative practices being developed, we are requesting that residents begin reducing their exposure to public places and that their families reduce or eliminate visits to the Briton House for the time being unless absolutely necessary.

Both Health Canada and the US CDC have recommended that seniors reduce their exposure chances by limiting person to person interactions. Health Canada states in their current document on mitigating the spread of this virus that “Protective self-separation is recommended for a person who is at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19”. Experts suggest that seniors “consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.”

A number of governments around the world have recommended or legislated reduced or no visits to senior’s facilities and out of our abundance of caution we are recommending the same. So please, in the interest of all pass this information to your family and stay in touch through electronic means. To encourage this, we will assist you with the setup of either FaceTime or WhatsApp which are cell phone or computer applications that will allow video conferencing with your friends and relatives. If you are interested in setting up this please see Susan or Byron on the second floor.

Once again we remind you that in order to help protect yourself and others, we recommend you follow City of Toronto Public Health guidelines on how to protect yourself;

  • Regularly wash your hands and use our Hand Sanitizers stations located throughout the building.
  • Especially wash your hands and use the foam sanitizer before entering the dining rooms.
  • If you experience any symptoms, especially fever, cough, or runny nose, we ask you report this immediately to the Health Care Department at extension 2800 or through the front desk extension 2000 and remain in your room until examined.

Thank you for your understanding in this challenging time.

David Smith,
General Manager

 


 

March 5, 2020

Covid-19 Virus Preparedness Update

Further to our notice of January 31st we want to bring you up to date on what we at Briton House are planning and have implemented with respect to Covid19 concerns.

We have now changed the way food is served at our dining room buffets. We are no longer allowing our residents to handle the utensils and serve themselves. Instead, our food service staff will plate your food at your request and then pass you your plate for the trip to your seat. The Table Service ordering and delivery to your table remains unchanged.

Further we have just taken delivery of a new Clorox® Total 360® electrostatic disinfecting system. This machine will be used throughout the building to kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces. It will be used selectively in rooms and on a routine basis in the common areas.

In addition we have put up signs informing staff and private duty staff, as well as any guests, that if they are experiencing any Flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, or runny nose, to please not come into the building. Please note that even individuals with very mild symptoms should not come into the building. Also, since animals have been shown to be a means of transmission, we have cancelled our therapy dog visits for the time being. We would also ask that you tell your family members or friends who visit to please not bring their pets in to see you. Further anyone who has travelled to China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran or California within the last 2 weeks please speak with the Nurse Manager, Lourdes Cardeno, before coming to visit.

Once again we remind you that in order to help protect yourself and others, we recommend you follow City of Toronto Public Health guidelines on how to protect yourself;

  • Regularly wash your hands and use our Hand Sanitizers stations located throughout the building.
  • Especially wash your hands and use the foam sanitizer before entering the dining rooms.
  • If you experience any symptoms, especially fever, cough, or runny nose, we ask you report this immediately to the Health Care Department at extension 2800 or through the front desk extension 2000 and remain in your room until examined.

We will keep you informed should the situation change.

David Smith,
General Manager