At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, staff in long term care homes were immediately required to wear our PPE whether or not we were caring for infected residents. Along with the daily application of PPEs was also the requirement for PCR tests 3-4 times weekly. Because staff were “visitors” coming into the homes of these residents who did not go out, it was important to ensure that every staff working had a negative PCR test in the last 48 hrs at least. This was to keep the residents safe and also allow for infected staff to properly isolate without spreading the contracted virus. Almost half the staff complained saying hospital, other LTC homes and retirements home staff are not required to do PCR tests that much so why must we. I considered myself an early adopter to this change because I was not only scared of contracting the virus and getting sick but also infecting the residents and my family. PCR tests every other day was a ‘blow to the nose’ literally; causing some discomfort and nose bleeds. Nonetheless, it was for the greater good. The home managed to keep down any COVID-19 cases. I think the first time we had a staff test positive for COVID was around May 2020.
Currently in the home, staff are required to do a rapid test 3 times a week. The rapid test does not go as deep as the PCR test did so it’s a relieve.