Manor administrator, staff lauded for efforts of keeping COVID-19 at bay thus far

Manitoulin Centennial Manor

LITTLE CURRENT – The Manitoulin Centennial Manor has not been affected by an outbreak of COVID-19 thus far and members of the Manor board of directors made it clear that this is due to the efforts and commitment of administration and staff at the facility.

“I would like to thank all the staff at the Manor for their tremendous efforts in protecting and taking care of the residents, especially with fewer people being around to support them in all their efforts,” said Pat MacDonald, chair of the Manor board at a meeting held Tuesday. She began listing the staff personnel in each department at the Manor and then said, “thank you to everyone who has contributed to make it an easier time for the residents.”

“Right now we are not in an outbreak state,” said Tamara Beam, administrator of the Manor. She explained 14 residents and 10 staff members that had recently shown symptoms had been tested and all tests came back negative. 

The province, “will be asking us to test a lot more going forward,” said Ms. Beam. She pointed out the Manor is not affected by any of the costs associated with the testing but noted, “it is stressful in getting the results from the tests. It sometimes takes two days for the results to be released and for those that have been tested it is a lot of stress.”
Ms. Beam indicated that prior to the COVID-19 outbreak she had made the decision to limit staff numbers at the Manor, which has now been decreed an order by the province. However, due to the decision made prior to COVID-19 “the order hasn’t affected us too much.”

All staff at the Manor are wearing masks at all times and staff and residents are screened twice a day. As well, “we have put in place controls on delivery (to the Manor). They leave the parcels at the door and then call us to let us know the order has been delivered. Then we pick them up.”

“There is no admissions or visitors allowed in the building,” Ms. Beam added.
Ms. Beam also indicated if an outbreak does take place at the Manor, steps have already been established and are in place to respond to this. She pointed out, “the Ministry of Labour had received a complaint filed about our COVID-19 measures but there were no findings, and public health had carried out a visit earlier but had no findings.”

Keith Clement, Extendicare regional director said at the meeting, “I wanted to reiterate the comments that have been made so far that Marie (Howard, Director of Care) and Tamara (Beam) and their team have done a great job. They have been bombarded with questions and concerns, dealing with legislative changes, public health, ministry of labour, inquiries from residents, families and staff and dealing with restructuring processes.”

“Staff here are doing an outstanding job,” stated Mr. Clement, who added, “I’ve had the unfortunate experience of knowing how things are going in some (similar) facilities in southern Ontario. We’ve been able to learn from them, but a lot of homes are in a lot of trouble. We aren’t one of them. The goal is to keep the virus out as long as possible.” He pointed out, however, “until a vaccine is in place to cure COVID-19, things will not stop.”

“I just want to reiterate how exceptional everyone has been here,” continued Mr. Clement. “Staff has done exceptionally well. Again, we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

Mr. Clement further informed the board that the provincial government had provided extra emergency funding to the Manor for infection control, such as extra screening and supplies that are needed. The funding is in the $34,000 per quarter range. But so far, “we haven’t really booked anything to these accounts yet.” 

When asked if the Manor will have to give back any of the funds they don’t spend that has been provided by the province for COVID-19, Mr. Clement said all the funds will be spent.

When asked if the Manor had stockpiled personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for COVID-19, Mr. Clement said, “the Manor already had a good amount of pandemic supplies, including PPE,” said Mr. Clement. “Tamara and Marie have been on top of this.”

“So far, so good,” stated Mr. Clement. “We’re not looking for more supplies at this point in time. Bottom line is we’re in relatively good shape right now.”