Following the forced evacuation of the Rosslyn Seniors’ Residence on King Street East, the City of Hamilton’s Department of Public Health and the local hospital system wrote a series of recommendations to the province to help do better face similar outbreaks in the future. The full text of the press release follows:
The City of Hamilton, in collaboration with local health partners, has made a series of recommendations to Health Ontario – Western Region of the province regarding the prevention and management of COVID-19 outbreaks in community care settings, to following a severe outbreak in Rosslyn. Hamilton retirement home last week.
The recommendations are intended to clarify the essential responsibilities and actions required to effectively manage an epidemic outbreak in contexts such as retirement and long-term care homes, which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendations are the result of a report between the main partners involved in the response to the Rosslyn crisis, including the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Public Health, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, RLISS Home and Community Care and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
“The gravity of the situation at the Rosslyn retirement home cannot be underestimated,” said Rob MacIsaac, chair of the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant regional command table on the pandemic and president and chief executive officer of the HHS.
“We have carefully considered the series of events and we believe it is our collective duty to share our findings and recommendations with the province so that we can do better for those living in collective care settings across the Ontario. “
The recommendations call for:
• Immediate testing of residents and health care workers in retirement homes with a plan to spread to other high-risk assembly areas
• Proactive identification of another health care facility that a home can access in a crisis
• Clearer accountability, roles and responsibilities for those who operate and work in assembly environments
• Basic standards and requirements for physicians providing care to residents in consolidated settings
• Formal structure at municipal level to supervise these types of settling / actions required
• Completion of functional assessments in assembly environments to examine items such as administrative structures, drug systems, medical model, etc..
• Hospitals support each other as needed to be able to respond to unrelated demands from the assembly community outside their municipality.
• A perspective on the role and responsibility of retirement home regulators
• Development of a more formal infrastructure to support gathering environments in order to ensure a coordinated response of the health system to the pandemic
“We are grateful to all partners who have come together to respond and provide support during this emergency,” said Paul Johnson, EOC director of the City of Hamilton, who also supports the broader work of the the health of the Western Ontario Health Command structure. “We look forward to implementing the recommendations in a local context and working with the province to address broader concerns in community settings.”
• For regular COVID-19 updates from the City of Hamilton, please visit www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus and www.hamilton.ca/covidclosures
• COVID-19 hotline of Public Health Services 905-974-9848 or [email protected]