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Pioneer Lodge encourages loved ones to stay in contact with residents

A Pioneer Lodge and House staff member is encouraging families of residents to get in touch with loved ones  experiencing emotional challenges during the outbreak.

Administrator Joyce Bell says staff are inside the facility everyday and know how the residents are doing and she understands that their family members may be worried.

“We understand how difficult it must be for families that are picturing their loved ones locked in their room surrounded by those four walls. At any point in time if anyone wishes to call and check please feel free to do so.”

Bell says families are still able to see residents and show their support by visiting their windows outside.

“The window visits are a success. There’s no two ways about it. We encourage residents to keep the window closed and call your loved one. That way you can be close to one another and the resident will be able to see them clearly and hear them better.”

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She says they’ve noticed some visitors standing right next to the window and reminds them to follow physical distancing procedures and stay at least six feet away.

Since the initial outbreak on April 19, 163 residents and 108 staff have been tested for COVID-19. Five residents have tested positive while one came back inconclusive. Bell says they have since been retested and are waiting for the results to come back. 

She says one case was tracked to an outside source but investigations are still ongoing for the others.

The majority of staff and healthcare workers have been tested with all of them coming back negative so far. 

“In our minds it’s proven to us that the procedures that we have in place is keeping our residents and staff safe. However this virus came into Pioneer, we believe we have a strong chance of being able to contain it. We just need to follow our training and practices because that’s proven that is working.”

The 14 day isolation period since the initial outbreak has passed but because of the new cases found that isolation period has been extended. Bell says the Saskatchewan Chief Medical Officer of Health will make the decision on when that period will end.

Bell says they’ve received tremendous support from the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation who recently dropped off 200 care packages at the facility.

“Even back two years ago when they stepped forward to help us with the fundraising for Pioneer House they’ve never left our side. Anytime we have a need at all it is simply a matter of contacting them and it seems to be provided. The support we’ve gotten is just unbelievable.”

Ahead of Mother’s Day, Pioneer Lodge and Home are able to take in gifts but ask to follow some guidelines such as no home baked goods or any items that staff would be unable to sanitize.

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