COVID-19 Safety Plan

This summary has been assembled from a variety of procedures and policies across Homewood Health’s inpatient facilities and is the most accurate and up-to-date reflection Homewood Health’s response to COVID-19 as of May 2020. This is not a single policy document, nor is it inclusive of all measures that have been implemented. As COVID-19 continues to evolve in our communities, so do we. We are continuously reviewing public health directives, guidelines and best practices and reviewing our internal processes and procedures to ensure they are aligned.

Health services and caregivers related to mental health and addiction treatment were deemed essential by provinces across Canada in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homewood Health Centre & Homewood Health Inc. (1) inpatient facilities began implementing strong measures to limit the risk to our clients, staff, and the community in order to continue to respond to the needs of our patients/clients.

At any point during the intake/admission process a client’s start date can be deferred 14 days; clients who have reported symptoms that may or may not be COVID-19, or have any reported behavior that is not aligned with physical distancing recommendations, will be subject to delayed admission.

Referrals:

Accepted to all facilities from all provinces. Referrals are reviewed and triaged for approval by our medical and clinical teams.

Admissions & Travel:

Admissions will be accepted from all provinces, provided the client passes the enhanced screening and intake measures

  •  If the client is travelling from out-of-province to attend treatment, the client and the referrer need to be aware of the potential risk of the client not being able to return home barring provincial/federal travel restrictions. The client/referrer may consider: 1) arranging alternate accommodation in the province after the client completes program, or 2) continue funding a prolonged stay at the facility
  • For clients travelling from out-of-province to attend treatment we strongly recommend direct flights and that the client follows the travel guidelines from Government of Canada and CDC

(1)Homewood Health Inc. facilities include: Homewood Ravensview, The Residence at Homewood, and The Homewood Clinics/Counselling Centre

Screening:

Enhanced screening at all facilities, based on Public Health recommendations

  •  Initial phone screening during the first conversation/phone call;
  • Second phone screening 48 hours before they arrive at the facility;
  • First in-person wellness screening when they arrive onsite, including a temperature reading; followed by daily health assessments by medical staff and at least once (1) daily client temperature checks throughout admission;
  • Homewood staff are able to perform COVID-19 swabs onsite and expedite results via an external laboratory service;
  • If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 and requires transfer to an acute care facility, Homewood staff will manage the transfer of care. Otherwise, the patient can remain in treatment under care of our trained medical staff.

Physical Distancing Measures & Other Newly Implemented Processes:

  • All new clients are required to wear masks (provided) at all times for the first 14 days of their stay; following the first 14 days, masks are required during all group sessions, 1:1 sessions, at while being administered medications, and when clients are unable to maintain appropriate physical distancing
  • Temporary suspension of all patient Therapeutic Leave of Absence (TLOA) passes until further notice.
  •  Restricting client privileges to Homewood Health grounds until further notice;
  •  Outside referrer tours cancelled until further notice;
  •  Patient family visiting day and general visits from the community suspended until further notice;
  •  Cancellation of external groups (i.e. AA) until further notice;
  • Recovery Management groups transferred to an online format, until further notice;
  • Any outside vendors, delivery drivers, etc. are limited and screened;
  • Added tape to floors in patient dining areas and medication window lines to encourage distancing
  • Rearranged furniture in dining rooms to encourage distance of patients while eating;
  • Patient common areas have strict capacity limits in place and are only used by one program at a time with cleaning taking place between;
  • Group therapy – adjusted programming structures to lower the number of patients in each group. Patients are encouraged to make distance seating arrangements and widen the group therapy circles to allow for 6 feet between each person;
  • Staff specific and patient specific washrooms;

Staff & Facility:

  • We have moved to universal masking for all staff in clinical areas throughout the facilities
  • Signs encouraging hand hygiene, physical distancing and mask use have been developed, printed, laminated and posted throughout the facility (including in patient rooms)
  • Staff are actively screened before entering the facility with a comprehensive screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Staff are directed to be tested for COVID-19 if they meet the testing criteria and are not to report to work with any of the listed symptoms associated with coronavirus;
  • Staff no longer use the fitness centre or other common client areas for personal use;
  • Housekeeping staff have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of facility with a strong focus on high traffic & high touch areas;
  • A COVID-19 Patient Management Protocol policy was established by the Infection Control experts at Homewood in mid-March and is continuously reviewed and updated to align with the latest public health guidelines;
  • External company administered a cutting-edge antimicrobial spray to disinfect high traffic areas, including the common client areas, nursing stations and patient rooms at all facilities.
  • Homewood works closely with all local public health units to ensure we are aligned with the latest relevant guidelines, practices and safety precautions.