Resident safety at OMNI remains top priority as we enter second COVID wave

As we brace for the expected second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, many connected to OMNI Health Care long-term care homes, whether residents, family members or staff, may be wondering what the coming months will bring.

Indeed, the past six months have been trying for all of us in the long-term care sector. And while there have been hardships along the way, OMNI team members have stepped up to the challenge and worked diligently to keep residents and each other safe.

Safety will continue to be our No. 1 priority as we prepare to see increased COVID-19 cases in communities throughout Ontario.

OMNI’s focus is keeping that spread from occurring in our long-term care homes.

Rigorous testing for the COVID-19 virus is, and will continue to be, the foundation for the prevention of spread. With the number of positive test results beginning to rise again across Ontario, community spread of the highly contagious virus remains the greatest risk long-term care homes face.

We are mitigating infection risk as much as we can by requiring regular testing for staff members and testing any residents who show symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

Staff members in OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes are being tested twice monthly, and fortunately, there is increased testing available since the pandemic was declared in March.

It’s imperative the federal and provincial governments continue to support testing resources and ensure testing results are received without the delays and shortages of testing supplies that have occurred in the past.

And of course, social distancing protocols and the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be used by our staff members.

OMNI has maintained a robust supply of PPEs, which include masks, gloves and gowns, throughout the pandemic, and we can report the supply stocks have been increased in recent months.

Still, we need to keep PPE supplies readily available, and we are calling on the province to continue promoting greater availability of PPE supply chains as well as forecasting shortages and taking steps to address potential kinks in the supply chain before they happen.

While there may be concerns about what the coming months will bring, what is certain is that OMNI Health Care is prepared to meet challenges and is intensely focused on the safety and security of the residents living in our homes.