Manitoba continues to pursue the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program for residents in personal care homes, given the particular vulnerability of our resident population.
Vaccination is one of the many tools in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission that is being implemented in addition to the many other precautions we have put in place over the past year to protect your loved one.
While we understand the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to be approximately 95 per cent effective after 7-14 days following the second dose, we do not yet know much about how long protection lasts or whether vaccinated persons can still unknowingly infect others. While evidence continues to emerge, our residents remain a high-risk population for severe illness related to COVID-19 and we must continue to be vigilant with efforts to prevent cases of COVID-19 within our facility.
This means that preventative measures will remain in place at our facility for the foreseeable future. This includes:
- staff, resident and visitor screening (including designated family caregivers and general visitors as well as anyone else seeking entry to our facility);
- 14-day isolation of newly admitted or readmitted residents;
- frequent and thorough hand hygiene;
- physical distancing;
- appropriate use of non-medical masks and/or facility-provided personal protective equipment; and
- visitor restrictions including limits to the number of permitted visitors, requirements of where visits may occur, and limitations on leaves of absence for non-essential or social purposes.
We are carefully balancing these precautions with the known benefits of socialization and recreational activities. For facilities that are not experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, the following activities may occur, with the noted precautions in place:
Hairdressers may be permitted, but are only permitted to work in one PCH. Screening must be in place prior to entry, as well as physical distancing, occupancy limits in the designated resident hair care area, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols must be followed. Masks must be worn by all hair salon staff as well as residents who are able to tolerate wearing a mask.
Recreational and group activities may be permitted, with physical distancing between residents and any other participant. Participation must be limited to residents from a single unit or single floor and materials may not be shared unless they can be cleaned and disinfected between each resident.