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COVID-19 Information

Baycrest is committed to communicating with you about COVID-19. The health and safety of residents, families, visitors, private companions, staff and volunteers is of paramount priority. This page contains the most up-to-date information from Baycrest.
 
To date, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases identified at Baycrest are posted here.

Please provide your email address to receive updates on COVID-19:

 

Latest Update:

Previous Updates:

May 2020

April 2020


Page updated: June 3, 2020
 

Minister Letter to Residents in Long-Term Care and Families

Please see below for an open letter from Honourable Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care with details on the on-going measures the Ministry is taking to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.


 

Measures in Place

Our Baycrest clients are a particularly vulnerable population. Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions, like heart, lung, or kidney disease, are at higher risk. We are taking all necessary measures to keep them, and everyone at Baycrest, safe.

Active Screening

  • In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) to our residents and employees, out of an abundance of caution, Baycrest is conducting Active Screening for COVID-19. 
  • We will be screening all staff and essential visitors both on entry to, and on exit from the Baycrest campus. On entry, we will check temperatures and continue to ask the same screening questions as we are currently. On exit, we will check temperatures and everyone will now be asked whether they have developed any symptoms, including cough, fever or shortness of breath during their shift or visit.
  • The Active Screening process is based on our established infection control plans to prevent respiratory illness outbreaks like COVID-19.
  • Active Screening takes place at the Bathurst Street entrance (Door # 3), Apotex Entrance (Door # 7) and the south entrance of The Terraces. All other entrances are closed. Visitors should expect some delay when getting into the building. Please plan travel accordingly. 
  • All individuals entering Baycrest and Terraces are screened. Everyone is asked:
    • To provide their name and contact phone number
    • Who they are visiting
    • If they are feeling ill or experiencing  any influenza-like symptoms – fever and onset of cough or difficulty breathing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat or other.
    • If they travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days
    • If they have had close contact with anyone who has travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
    • If they have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • In case of failed screening, visitors will be asked to reschedule their visit after 14 days and if they have symptoms to contact their health provider. 


If you have ANY of the following new or worsening symptoms or signs, it is imperative that you stay home:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose, sneezing or nasal congestion (in the absence of underlying reasons for symptoms such as seasonal allergies and post nasal drip)
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New smell or taste disorder(s)
  • Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Unexplained fatigue/malaise
  • Chills
  • Headache


Anyone on the Baycrest campus with these symptoms will be asked to leave immediately.

If you are worried that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please call the Toronto Public Health hotline at 416-338-7600. Information is available in multiple languages.

You can prevent the transmission of respiratory infections through the following practices:

  • Do not come to Baycrest if you are ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms (see above).
  • Wash your hands. Hand hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent transmission of infection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue out. Cough into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.


If you have questions or comments, please email covidquestions@baycrest.org. You can expect a response back within 48 hours.

Physical Distancing

  • Baycrest is applying physical distancing protocols in all public areas. Physical distancing refers to reducing the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection and others who are not infected. This includes modifying programs, adding spaces between tables in our eating areas, and cancelling large group gatherings and large group events, including concerts, volunteer orientation, synagogue services and recreation programs.
  • When entering the elevator, please keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between people. If this is not possible, please wait for the next elevator. We will be posting signs by the elevators to remind you of this best practice.

 

Virtual Care

Baycrest is pleased to announce that we are scaling our efforts in virtual technologies so that we can continue to provide the Baycrest community with safe and effective care. This means that some of our healthcare providers will be conducting clinical appointments using video and audio communication tools. Please visit this page for more information on virtual care at Baycrest.

 

Closures to Outpatient Services

On March 15, Ontario Hospitals received a directive from the Ministry of Health to limit elective surgeries and non-emergency activities. Due to this request, all outpatient services are closed or delivered virtually, effective March 17. As circumstances with COVID-19 change, we will continue to update our available services. Please visit this page for a list of clinics that are closed or are offering services virtually.

 

Visiting Restrictions for Residents and Patients

As part of our ongoing efforts to decrease the risk of transmitting COVID-19 on our campus and to safeguard our residents and patients, we have developed further specifications around our essential visitor policy. In keeping with recent directives from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Baycrest is amending its policy regarding the number of essential visitors permitted to be on site at a time.
 
Effective Thursday, May 7 at 7 a.m., residents and patients who meet the criteria to have essential visitors will be limited to have ONE VISITOR AT A TIME in the building. Baycrest will continue to accommodate two (2) essential visitors who can visit only once in the 24-hour period. Visitors must not go in and out of the building during that period.
 
The Ministry defines “essential visitors” as those who are visiting a resident or patient who is dying or very ill:

  • Imminently Dying: Any person in the last hours or days of life (less than 1 week).
  • Very Ill:  Patients or residents who have been identified as imminently requiring transfer to acute hospital care.

At Baycrest, the physician, along with the care team assesses whether a resident or patient meets these criteria.  The care team will contact families of residents and patients who meet criteria for having an essential visitor. 
 
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baycrest has implemented numerous precautionary measures and continues to update our policies as the situation evolves. It is important to note the following:
  • Each approved visitor can visit only once in the 24-hour period and must not go in and out of the building during that period.
  • The visitor will be subject to screening, including a temperature check, prior to entering and exiting the building.
  • Each visitor will be issued one (1) procedure mask by the screeners when they enter the building and must wear the mask continuously during their visit. Personal masks that have been worn outside of Baycrest are not permitted.
  • Good hand hygiene must be practiced while handling the mask.
  • When on the units, visitors must stay in the room of the person they are visiting and not enter other spaces on the unit such as serveries/kitchens, visitor lounges (visitor washrooms can be used).
  • Members of the care team have identified places where visitors can remove their masks to eat while maintaining physical distancing.
  • The visitor must not visit anyone else at Baycrest while here to see the designated patient or resident.
  • Children under the age of 16 years will not be permitted to visit Baycrest under any circumstances.


The Baycrest care team will continue reaching out by telephone to families who have residents and patients who meet the criteria for having an essential visitor. The team will monitor the status of all our residents and patients on an ongoing basis to support the continuous updating of our essential visitor list.
 
We understand this important measure can be difficult for our residents, patients and their families, and facilitating ongoing communication with one another is a priority for us. We are dedicated to providing the best possible care to your loved ones during this remarkably challenging time and thank you for your support as we navigate this unprecedented situation together.
 
Baycrest’s continues to offer an e-Visit program allowing families to connect with their loved one through telephone calls or video. Click here for more information.

As part of our larger physical distancing strategy to limit the number of people on our campus, Baycrest is actively reviewing which third party contractors are required to provide essential services. Currently, Baycrest has determined that private companions are classified as an essential third party contractor and will be permitted to provide services on the Baycrest campus.

Permitting private companions in the Apotex and Hospital is a short term, temporary measure as we are working to reduce the total number of people on the campus as part of our larger physical distancing strategy.

At this time we are urging our families who employ private companions to consider restricting their services as much as possible to assist us with public health measures to limit the introduction or transmission of COVID-19 on our campus. Any private companion who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days or shows any symptoms and signs of a respiratory illness or fever will be denied entry to Baycrest.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves provincially, the Baycrest team will continue to reevaluate which third party contracted services are permitted onsite, including private companions.  We understand how very difficult and stressful these types of physical distancing measures are on our clients and their families. Our team is actively developing alternative strategies to keep our families informed on the status of their loved ones, to ensure that all of our residents and patients receive the care supports they require, and that we are unrelenting in our focus on maintaining the quality of life of all who depend on us. This is an unprecedented situation and we welcome the collaborative participation of our clients and their families to manage through these challenges. The Ministry of Health will reevaluate these public health measures in the coming weeks and ensure consistency with the guidance provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

We will continue to update you on our measures as the COVID-19 situation progresses.

 

Restrictions on delivering items to residents and patients in Baycrest

Although the risk of infection from the surfaces of externally delivered parcels to our residents and patients is quite low, such transmission is still theoretically possible. As a result, we have put into place a ban on the receipt and distribution of private parcels to Apotex residents and hospital patients. This includes laundry, food and packages in person or by mail. Private companions, who are temporarily allowed entry on campus after successful screening, will not be allowed to bring private parcels into the facility, except for items that are restricted to their own personal use, as is the case with Baycrest staff members.
 
We understand that this is yet again, another preventative measure that adds to the stress and challenges associated with the pandemic for many of our clients and their families. However, for the foreseeable future, our primary focus must remain on doing everything possible to prevent more extensive COVID-19 spread among our clients and staff. Their safety is our singular most vital priority at this stage of the pandemic.
 
We will continue to update you on our measures as the COVID-19 situation progresses. You can email covidquestions@baycrest.org should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.


eVisit Program and Wellness Checks

Baycrest is committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment on our campus. In compliance with the recent Ministry directive, only essential visitors are permitted at Baycrest during this time. We understand this important measure is nevertheless difficult for our residents, patients and their families, and facilitating your ongoing communication with one another is a priority for us. We are implementing new strategies to keep you connected to your loved one.

We continue to focus on providing excellent healthcare, while balancing the need to provide alternative methods of communication with families during this time. Click here for more information on our eVisit program and wellness checks.

Book an eVisit


COVID-19 Current Status

To date, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases identified at Baycrest are posted here.


April 17, 2020

The risk of illness from COVID-19 is most significant for older adults. We continue to act out of an abundance of caution as our dedicated staff members provide the most compassionate care. Even with our best efforts, we are profoundly aware that leading healthcare authorities continue to warn that we are likely to see more Ontario cases emerge in the weeks ahead.
 
We recognize that many in our community are anxious in the face of this pandemic and are interested to learn more about what we are doing at Baycrest to keep everyone safe. We are sharing the following information about our infection prevention and contingency measures with you.
 
Infection Prevention and Control Measures and Testing Protocols
 
We have employed proven, preemptive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. These include adhering to social/physical distancing, active screening, virus testing protocols, isolation procedures, the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, and restricting the number of essential visitors onto the campus.
 
Since the outset of COVID-19, Baycrest has had a consistent and structured approach to testing for exposure to the virus. Our testing strategy is developed by our Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) professionals and is consistent with best practices and principles based on symptomology and exposure risk. In advance of testing kits becoming available, we had proactively built a comprehensive plan based on updated Ministry and public health guidance. For several weeks now, our own onsite COVID-19 testing centre has supported staff testing, and we are collaborating with our laboratory partners to expand the testing of Baycrest staff, residents and patients. We are now conducting proactive, targeted testing of asymptomatic staff and clients as an additional preventative measure across our varied care settings (Apotex, Hospital and Terraces).
 
Baycrest has been a strong regional advocate for prioritizing testing in the long-term care and complex continuing care sectors at the COVID-19 Regional Planning tables. We are staying abreast of provincial best practices as the global understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve.
 
Maintaining and Managing Staffing Levels
 
The ability for Baycrest to provide safe and quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic requires continuous planning and coordination of employee efforts across all programs. We are actively monitoring and managing staffing needs across our organization.
 
There are a number of strategies we are implementing to ensure that we continue to maintain our workforce during this time, and we are thankful to our committed and dedicated staff who are making this possible. 
 
To support COVID-19 specific initiatives, Baycrest has increased recruitment of additional frontline healthcare workers and other roles to support our staffing complement. Baycrest is recruiting additional RPNs, PSWs, Environmental Services Staff, Food Services Staff, Feeding Assistants to help with mealtimes in the Apotex and Hospital, and staff to actively screen at the entrances.
 
Also, as part of our contingency staffing, Baycrest has established a redeployment committee that reviews our staffing needs daily and assigns staff with the required skills to provide support campus-wide.
 
Our Role at the Provincial Table for Planning
 
As a leader in this sector, we have been called upon by the province to be part of the Health Ministry’s enhanced response structure, led by Ontario Health. The province has brought together hospitals, emergency health services, nurses and primary care providers, as well as experts and specialty leads for each region of Ontario.
 
We are working together with our colleagues who, with us, represent the foremost experts in the field, and are responsible for reviewing regional plans to ensure proactive local readiness and implementation of provincial strategies in areas such as assessment, testing and care; supplies/equipment; and surveillance/communications. We are also Co-leading the COVID-19 response for the long-term care sector, and we are actively working with our partner agencies and organizations to determine and implement best practices across the system.
 
Our Commitment to the Wellbeing and Safety of those for Whom We Care
 
We are wholeheartedly committed to doing all we can to protect everyone on our campus and to meet the needs of our clients and their families.
 
We are committed to sharing information with you in a transparent and timely way as we follow the best pandemic management practices. Should you have any other questions or concerns, please email covidquestions@baycrest.org or contact a member of your care team.
 
We want to thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to implement important, but difficult measures to support the health and safety of our residents, patients and staff members.

To date, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases identified at Baycrest are posted here.
 

Helpful Resources

We have created a page with local, national and international and multilingual resources on COVID-19. Please click here to view it.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is a coronavirus/novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. 
  • What are the symptoms of someone infected with a coronavirus?
    Common signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Most cases are mild. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and, in rare cases, death.
  • Is there a vaccine available for this infection?
    At this time there isn’t a vaccine available for the COVID-19.
  • What is a pandemic? Are we in one?
    A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease impacting populations over a large geographic area. It occurs when a new virus emerges and spreads around the world and people do not have immunity against it. The World Health Organization (WHO) and local health officials consider a number of factors before declaring a pandemic. On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 situation a pandemic.
  • Are there reliable places I can get more information?
  • What’s the difference between seasonal coronaviruses and COVID-19?
    The seasonal coronavirus is NOT the same as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  Seasonal coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses (including the common cold), and can spread easily between people. Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness-of-breath and breathing difficulties. There are strains of coronaviruses that have caused more severe illness in humans in the past, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and now, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and cough.
  • How is COVID-19 transmitted?
    COVID-19 cases and clusters demonstrate that Droplet/Contact transmission are the routes of transmission. The majority of cases are linked to person-to-person transmission through close direct contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through the airborne route.
  • What programs are in place to keep my loved one engaged and stimulated during this time?
    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all large and small group recreational programs have been cancelled to maintain physical distancing. As a result, we have implemented new measures and programs to keep your loved one engaged and stimulated, including dedicated one-on-one time with therapeutic recreationists and other Baycrest staff. During these one-on-one visits, therapeutic recreationists gauge the needs and interests of residents and offer tailored programming, including traditional and virtual social activities, as well as digital entertainment (including religious and cultural offerings). E-visits can also be arranged between residents and their friends/families by emailing evisit@baycrest.org.