NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

NO VISITORS PERMITTED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Please be advised that effective immediately, under the direction of the Department of Health & Wellness, Saint Vincent’s is closed to visitors, including family members and volunteers.

You are encouraged to call our hotline at 902-334-1444 for the most recent COVID-19 update or contact either Debbie Coombs, Infection Control Designate at [email protected] or 902-429-0550 ext. 136 or Angela Berrette, Executive Director at [email protected] or 902-429-0550 ext. 103.

News Release Updates

April 3, 2020

To date we have tested 11 residents for COVID-19 with 10 negative results and one pending. There are four residents on 5th floor who were positive for RSV, a respiratory syncytial virusthat mimics the common cold. If your loved one is waiting for testing results, please speak directly with a member of the care team to confirm results who are always the best source of accurate up to date information.

We have now isolated three rooms on the south end of the 2nd floor in preparation should we get a positive case. The residents from those rooms have been relocated or will be over the next few days. Family were involved in discussions on the moves. The decision to use the 2nd floor was the ability to use the exit on the first floor while completely sealing off the rest of the facility, minimizing the risk of spread.

Our medical director, Dr. Barry Clarke and I sent out a letter today to the residents’ substitute decision maker (SDM) by email or mail with specifics on how we will treat COVID should we get a case. Be sure to check your junk mail in case it was diverted. You will receive a call from Anya Teri, a Resident Care Manager, to discuss the letter with you.

Angela Berrette, Executive Director

April 2, 2020

We have no positive results for COVID-19 with residents or staff. As reported yesterday, we have an RSV outbreak on 5th floor with 4 positive swabs. The affected residents are experiencing mild cold-like symptoms. Our extended cleaning protocols and the use of personal protective equipment by staff are both mitigating the spread.  There is one resident and one staff member with results pending.

Today we started the process of isolating part of a floor to create a dedicated COVID unit. The ability to quickly isolate a resident with a positive result for COVID is vital to reducing transmission in the home. The unit will be staffed by employees who are solely dedicated to the unit. Although we hope it will not be needed, having it in place now will ensure we can respond quickly if required.

Our medical director, Dr. Barry Clarke and I are sending out a letter tomorrow by email or mail with specifics on how we will treat COVID should we get a case. Watch for it in your spam box.

If you have questions about the care of your loved one, please be sure to reach out to the nursing staff on the unit. They are always the best source for information on residents. I’m happy to answer questions you have regarding our preparedness for the pandemic. You can reach me by leaving a message after the beep or calling the main line at 902-429-0550.

April 1, 2020

Recent testing due to cold like symptoms have all returned negative for COVID-19.

Although clear for COVID-19, the residents tested do have respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV mimics the common cold and usually clears up on its own within 7-10 days. We are well versed in managing RSV and staff are working hard to limit the outbreak to the 5th floor.

As always, family members are informed of any illness. If we do need to test due to influenza-like symptoms of suspected COVID-19, you will receive a call from a nurse and be informed as soon as the results are received.

March 30, 2020

As the cases in the community rise, including cases in long-term care facilities involving staff and in one home, residents, we are continuing to increase the preventative measures we can take at Saint Vincent’s to minimize our risk and keep our residents and staff safe.

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers.  Over the weekend we began actively screening all those entering the facility. This includes taking the employees’ temperature to ensure they are not experiencing a fever. We also added a twice daily temperature check for all residents in addition to the regular screening.

Today we sent two swabs for testing on residents who are experiencing influenza-like illness and one staff member was recommended for testing by 811. We expect results for all three cases in the next 24-48 hours.

As mentioned in the update from early Saturday, we evaluated our practice of accepting dropped off items for our residents and today made the difficult decision to stop accepting them. Wherever possible we want to minimize risk and limit exposure. Our tuck trolley is still rolling with treats and personal items. If your loved one doesn’t order things for themselves, we can set it up upon your request.

We continue to update and revise our plans as things evolve. Please reach out if you need more information or would like to set up a video chat or call with a resident.

March 27, 2020

We are busy at the home as we continue to prepare for an outbreak, but that work is primarily occurring behind the scenes. Overall, there was no change from the update Wednesday, which is great news!

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers.

Although we have a few residents experiencing cold symptoms, no one meets the criteria for COVID-19. No staff member has reported symptoms requiring testing. 

At this point we are still accepting dropped off items for residents, but this will be evaluated Monday to ensure we are minimizing risk. Whether we make a change on Monday or not, we will end the practice immediately should we get a case in-house. If there is a favourite treat a resident will need stocked up on, now is the time.

Our Board of Directors continue to monitor key elements of the daily operations that must continue even during these uncertain times; and our medical director, Dr. Barry Clarke, is part of our planning team and has made suggestions on how to better protect Saint Vincent’s from COVID-19 entering the facility.

Unless there is a significant development, the next update will be Monday.

March 25, 2020

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers. You may not be able to visit but you can still be in-touch. We will connect family members with residents by phone or through an online platform. Let us know your preference by contacting Recreation at 902-429-0550 ext. 119. Mail or email are great options and if you would like to drop off items, you may do so by leaving them in the bins provided in our vestibule. We are not able to accept perishable or home-made food items.

If you have questions about the care of your loved one, please be sure to reach out to the nursing staff on the unit. They are always the best source for information on residents. You may also reach Angela Berrette, Executive Director by email at: [email protected] or by calling the mail line at 902-429-0550.

March 24, 2020

Today was uneventful at Saint Vincent’s. We have no cases with residents or staff and no one displaying symptoms which require testing. We held a resident meeting to provide an update and answer questions on the current situation. Residents miss you but, spirits remain high. Our dedicated recreation staff are busy trying to connect family members with residents via FaceTime or Skype. If this is something you would like to arrange please let recreation know at 902-429-0550 ext. 119

Please note, we have implemented a new process for all dropped off items. In order to protect staff, they will no longer receive items directly or attempt to sanitize the items. Instead, please place the items in one of the bins in the vestibule which will be taken inside and isolated for 48 hours prior to delivering to a resident. This means we are not able to accommodate perishable or home-made food.

If you have questions about the care of your loved one, please be sure to reach out to the nursing staff on the unit. They are always the best source for information on residents. Questions regarding our preparedness for the pandemic can be directed to Angela Berrette, Executive Director or Ken Rehman, Director of Resident Care. Call our main line at 902-429-0550.

March 23, 2020

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers.

We have no active or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and we have no residents who meet the specifications which would require testing for COVID-19. All staff are self-screening for symptoms, and we screen all those who call in with illness. Of those out ill, we have no staff who have reported being recommended for testing by 811. We are experiencing no staffing shortages or supply concerns.

Staying away is hard on you and hard on the residents. We are working to keep everyone busy but please feel free to call for updates or to arrange a phone call; we are also able connect you through facetime, skype or whatsapp to live (call recreation at 902-429-0550 x 119 for details). We will print and deliver emails sent to [email protected]. Besides regular mail you can drop items off at the front door. We can’t accept perishable goods as we must quarantine all items for 48 hours before delivery if we are not able to sanitize the items safely.

March 20, 2020

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers. As hard as it is to stay away, it is the best way to keep the residents safe. We can arrange a phone call or a video chat with a resident; you can drop items off for your loved one and send emails we will print to [email protected] All requests for a video connection (Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp) should be directed to Marisa in recreation, 902-429-0550 x 119. She is working hard to get all the requests met.


We have no active or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and we have no residents who meet the specifications which would require testing for COVID-19. All staff are self-screening for symptoms, and we screen all those who call in with illness. Of those out ill, we have no staff who have reported being recommended for testing by 811.


We are experiencing no staffing shortages or supply concerns. As directed by the medical officer of nova scotia, we have closed our hair salon effective immediately.

Our goal is to maintain open lines of communication as we go through this together, so please reach out if you have questions or concerns. You can call our information line at 902-334-1444 or ask to be added to our email group.

Unless there is a change in our status over the weekend, our next update will be posted on Monday, March 23, 2020.

March 19, 2020

There are no changes to report since yesterday. We are closely monitoring all information from the Department of Health and Wellness and continuing care at NS Health to ensure we are following all updated directives and adhering to safety precautions.

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers. As hard as it is to stay away, it is the best way to keep the residents safe. We can arrange a phone call or a video chat with a resident; you can drop items off for your loved one and send emails we will print to [email protected].


We have no active or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and we have no residents who meet the specifications which would require testing for COVID-19. All staff are self-screening for symptoms, and we screen all those who call in with illness. Of those out ill, we have no staff who have reported being recommended for testing by 811.


We are experiencing no staffing shortages or supply concerns. Our goal is to maintain open lines of communication as we go through this together, so please reach out if you have questions or concerns. You can call our information line at 902-334-1444 or ask to be added to our email group.

March 18, 2020

Today’s update mirrors yesterdays. We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers. As hard as it is to stay away, it is the best way to keep the residents safe. We can arrange a phone call or a video chat with a resident; you can drop items off for your loved one and send emails we will print to [email protected].


We have no active or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and we have no residents who meet the specifications which would require testing for COVID-19. All staff are self-screening for symptoms, and we screen all those who call in with illness. Of those out ill, we have no staff who have reported being recommended for testing by 811.


We are experiencing no staffing shortages or supply concerns at this time.

Please get in touch if you have concerns or questions.

March 17, 2020

Saint Vincent’s is committed to maintaining open lines of communication with all members of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that information on the status of our operations and residents is vital and we will continue to provide daily updates by email and through a recorded message on our information phone line.

We invite any member of the community to provide their email (send to [email protected]) or to call our info line (902-334-1444) for regular updates on operations and be sure to check Facebook for updates on what residents are doing to stay active and engaged during this time. You can’t be here in person, so we hope to show you what we are doing to keep busy!

We remain closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors and health care providers. Not visiting is a hardship we recognize. Yesterday evening, a family member entered the building to see his loved one despite the restrictions. We have addressed the issue but would like to remind everyone that the restrictions are at the direction of Public Health. As hard as it is to stay away, it is the best way to keep the residents safe.

We have no active or confirmed reported cases of COVID-19 among residents or staff. A swab sent for testing yesterday was negative for the virus. We have no residents who meet the specifications which would require testing for COVID-19.

Although this is a unique situation, we have an updated pandemic plan to assist with planning during this time. We are prepared to meet the needs of residents and currently have no staffing shortages or supply concerns.

All church services and group activities are cancelled as we focus on unit-based recreation programs. We have increased the number of hours for our music therapist and both she and our recreation staff are working hard to keep residents busy and entertained. We are increasing the number of photos we post on Facebook to ensure you see what residents are up to.

If you would like to speak with your loved one, please call the nursing units who will do their best to arrange a call. If you would like to contact a loved one by Facetime or Skype please leave a message on the info line at 902-334-1444 and we will make arrangements. If you wish to drop items off to a resident, please call the front desk at 902-429-0550 to arrange drop-off.

March 16, 2020

Saint Vincent’s remains closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers in addition to non-essential outside contractors or health care providers.

We have no active or confirmed reported cases of COVID-19 among residents or staff. Anyone experiencing symptoms will be tested under the guidance of the medical director of the facility and isolated until the results are received. We will update you on confirmed cases should they arise.

If you would like to speak with your loved one, please call the nursing unit who will do their best to arrange a call. We hope to have the ability for families to contact a resident by Skype or Facetime setup for Tuesday, March 17. If you wish to drop items off to a resident, please call the front desk at 902-429-0550 to arrange a time and we will deliver for you.

Although these are unprecedented times, we have plans in place to assist with operations and ensure we are prepared to meet the needs of residents through the crisis. We currently have no staffing shortages or supply concerns. If you have questions about operational issues, please send a message or call. We are happy to provide details.

We will continue to communicate updates through Facebook and email and have established a SVNH COVID-19 Information line at 902-334-1444 with a recorded message, updated daily.

Family and friends who would like to receive email updates should contact the receptionist or email [email protected]

March 14, 2020

As per the directive from the Government of Nova Scotia and Dr. Robert Strang (Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia), all long term care facilities including Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home is closed to all visitors, family members and volunteers effective immediately.

As of today, we have no active reported cases of COVID-19 among residents or staff. We are working hard to keep it that way as long as possible; by closing the facility to visitors we hope to slow the impact of COVID-19 on the residents and staff.

Your support will help reduce the risk to all at Saint Vincent’s.

Information will be shared daily through Facebook updates, a recorded phone message (902-334-1444) and by email. We hope to set up remote access so family members can stay in contact with residents. Once that is functional, we will share the details.

Anglican Church Service

Please join us for worship on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30 PM in the chapel for an Anglican Communion Service. Please refer to the monthly recreation calendar for service dates.

United Church Service

Please join us for worship on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 1:30 PM in the Chapel. Please refer to the monthly recreation calendar for service dates.

Check out the recreation calendars for this month

Our recreation department is working hard to keep the residents active during the restrictions associated with COVID-19. The following calendar shows the activities for the current week. This will be updated each week until we resume regular group activities.

March 29-April 4

Roman Catholic Mass

Until further notice Mass and all church services have been suspended.

Mass is held every Wednesday at 10:00 AM and a Communion Service is offered every second Sunday at 10:00 AM in the Chapel. Please refer to the monthly recreation calendar for the Sunday Communion Service dates.