Communication is important for people with loved ones living in long-term care facilities, and it is even more important when there is a COVID-19 outbreak at that facility.

During the past month since the COVID-19 outbreak began at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury, Friday, November 6 is the most recent day outbreak statistics were made available, and as of that day, a total of 92 residents of the facility had tested positive but 57 of the cases were resolved, leaving 35 active cases.  A total of 57 employees at the Residence had tested positive as of November 6, and 52 of those cases were resolved as of that day.  The outbreak had resulted in 16 resident deaths as of November 6.

There have been many critical comments on social media about how the facility is updating family members on the situation.  Resident’s families have also contacted The Review to express their dissatisfaction  According to Residence Administrator Alexandre Gorman, a protocol has been followed.

The person designated as the official Power of Attorney (POA) for a person’s health is the legal contact that the long-term care facility will officially communicate with regarding the health and safety of a resident.

“We call the POA of the resident every week. We try to do so once a week,” said Gorman, emphasizing that family members are called every week, whether or not the resident has tested positive.

He said that the designated POA’s are also called once a week, whether the resident has tested positive for COVID-19 or not.

Prescott and Russell Residence is closed to visitors due to the outbreak, but Gorman explained that a directive from the Ministry of Long-Term Care permits residents who are near the end of their life, or who are very sick, to have one family member at a time visit them in their room.

Regular food services have been maintained at the Prescott and Russell Residence throughout the outbreak, although Gorman acknowledged there have been challenges.  Gorman said that an inspector from the Ministry of Long-Term Care has visited the facility to make sure basic needs were being met.

Gorman did acknowledge that laundry service has sometimes been disrupted and residents have had to sometimes wear hospital gowns because their regular clean clothes were not immediately available.

“Sadly, this is a service that we had to reduce in order to be able to offer basic care to our residents.  These are unprecedented times and decisions such as laundry services had to be made to assure our residents health and safety,” said Gorman.

He emphasized that Prescott and Russell Residence administration is in discussions with the Ministry of Long-Term Care daily and assured that inspectors would have identified any unacceptable practices and procedures at the facility.