MCA LONG TERM CARE FACILITY TESTING PROTOCOLS
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health manages two long term care facilities – Tsiionkwanonhso:te Longterm Care Facility and Iakhihsohtha Lodge. The MCA Department of Health follows the directives issued by the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care for COVID-19 protocols that are implemented in each home. The Ministry released a directive to conduct COVID-19 testing on all residents and staff working in long term care facilities, even if they are asymptomatic.
MCA’s Community Health Program has requested an additional 190 test kits from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to accommodate this directive. Families of the residents and staff working at both facilities are being notified of this requirement. This community notice is being provided to assure the community that this is a precautionary step directed by the Ministry to reduce the risk of an outbreak.
Tsiionkwanonhso:te Longterm Care Facility and Iakhihsohtha Lodge staff are prepared with personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gowns, gloves) and isolation protocols if a resident does test positive for COVID-19. All results from testing is protected information and will not be released to the public.
HOSPITAL REFERRAL PROTOCOLS FROM LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES
Each Akwesasne long term care facility requires different levels of care and skillset of health care worker. On rare occasions during overnight hours if a resident requires medical care beyond what is available at the facility, a physician may advise that the resident be transported to a local hospital for radiology or other treatment. If that happens, the resident of a long term care facility being transferred to a Cornwall hospital will be tested for COVID-19 even if the referring physician does not suspect COVID-19.
The Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 directives being implemented by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit help to screen people who are suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19 throughout the health care system. First Nations are considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 because of the high rate of individuals with respiratory issues (e.g. asthma), heart disease, and diabetes. Long term care facilities are also considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 because of the age of residents, proximity within homes, and pre-existing medical conditions.
This precautionary measure to test all residents of Akwesasne’s long term care facilities for COVID-19 when they arrive at a hospital in Cornwall is a standard practice. In Ontario of the 1,300 reported deaths from COVID-19 cases, 927 deaths happened in a long term care facility. The MCA Department of Health continues to implement internal precautions along with public restrictions to long term care facility property to limit the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
If you have questions for either of the long term care facilities, please call:
Tsiionkwanonhso:te Longterm Care Facility: 613-932-1409
Iakhihsohtha Lodge: 613-575-2507