Holiday Visits and other news

Dear Families,

With yesterday’s announcement from our provincial leadership and Dr. Strang, Valley View Villa has made changes to the visitation restrictions over the holidays. It is our intention to continue with the Designated Caregiver visits that are already booked, but during these booked visits VVV will accommodate one additional visitor. The additional visitor does not have to be a designated caregiver. In addition, we are also going to increase the volume of visits to accommodate families to reconnect with their loved ones over the holiday season. These changes take effect on December 21, 2020.

Note, we are seeing exposure sites within our own community. We are monitoring this situation very closely, and for this reason we want to make it clear that all rules are subject to change without notice. This virus has the greatest impact on our vulnerable population, and we fully intend to take all necessary measures to maintain safety.

Vaccines are coming and will be issued to all residents, staff and designated caregivers from now until March. There is an end to this pandemic through vaccination, but until then, we cannot let our guard down.

2020 has been a year to remember. Although it has been faced with great difficulty, I can say there are silver linings. Priorities are better aligned with values, community is everything, and Nova Scotians are truly strong. For us healthcare workers, it has been extraordinarily busy, stressful and worrisome, but it has also been a blessing and incredibly rewarding to be part of this journey. I want to thank everyone for being so supportive, patient and kind. We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that cares for each other and our beloved residents. Your support and encouragement means everything and a reminder why our commitment continues to be unwavered.

Stay safe over the Holidays and look forward to your return in 2021.


Marcus Stephenson

Visitation Update

Dear Families and Loved Ones,  

We are monitoring the increasing epidemiology within our provincial borders. Today 37 new cases have been announced, with one new case in our zone. Taking the advice of Public Health, Valley View Villa will be closed to all visitors for a 2 week period starting Thursday November 26th. We will take this opportunity to reinforce our safety protocols, staff awareness, and make small infrastructure changes to enhance safety measures. This is a difficult decision, but it is one that will provide vulnerable population the most protection.  

If you have any questions, please contact the management team and we will be happy to assist you.  

Thank you for your understanding,  

 Marcus Stephenson 


Visitation Guidelines

Dear Families and Loved Ones,

We are closely monitoring the active cases within our province. We are noticing increases in COVID19 cases, and with a large volume of exposures in our central zone, we suspect community spread will be inevitable. With this evolving situation, our leadership team decided this to be an appropriate time to implement restrictions to ensure the safety of residents, family, and staff.

Effective November 14th:

  • Families visiting residents in private rooms will have to book appointments with the front desk and have the visit in our designated areas.
  • Offsite visits are now going to be restricted to medical appointments only.

Effective immediately

  • Any person who left the Atlantic bubble in the past 14 days, or, any person who has visitors staying with them from outside the Atlantic bubble in the past 14 days will be restricted from entering the facility.
  • Fast food items (Tim Hortons, McDonalds, etc.) will not be permitted inside the building.

Christmas gifts should start to be considered now. We will be accepting gifts, but the cutoff date will be December 20th.

These small changes can make a huge impact on the safety of those we care. We are working our best to avoid a full lockdown, but this will require compliance from all stakeholders and members within our caring community. I thank you all in advance for your understanding on this matter.


Marcus Stephenson

Guidelines for Resident Visits with Family in their Homes

The Guidelines for Resident visits with Family in their Homes for Long Term Care Facilities in Nova Scotia has been developed to support long‐term care facilities to safely support residents to enjoy off‐ site day visits with family in their homes. Please note that this is a supplement to the COVID‐19 Management in Long Term Care Facilities. 

For complete information please review the Family Visits at Home & Community Access documents or contact us for more information.


Visitation Update

Dear Families and Loved Ones,

We are pleased to inform everyone that our phased approach to opening the facility to Designated Caregivers has been successful. Once our package is reviewed by our pilot group and out of draft form, we will share with all Substitute Decision Makers (SDM). We are targeting for Tuesday September 29th. This package will outline our expectations and how to proceed with booking your orientation and visits. We look forward to this positive change.

We are also aware that starting Monday, September 28th, the province is deeming it safe for residents to leave the facility. Once again, we received this information the same time as the public. Our priority is to open the facility to Designated Care Givers and have this operating safely and smoothly. Once we have this in place, we will review the guidelines for offsite visits. We ask for everyone to remain patient on this matter, so we can do this properly and safely. Once our plan is in place, all families will be notified.


Marcus Stephenson

Visitor Protocol


  • All visits are to be booked through recreation. Please contact Lisa White ( This is subject to change, please stay posted.
  • When booking you will be prescreened, and you will later be screened when arriving. If you present any symptoms prior to arriving, please notify the facility and we will reschedule to a later date.
  • If you develop any symptoms related to COVID19 within two weeks prior to your visit, please notify the facility and call 811.

Indoor Visits

  • Resident or Substitute Decision Maker must designate three individuals for indoor visits. These three visitors cannot change.
  • Only one visitor per indoor visit.
  • Parking is in the front of the building at the designated parking area (this is subject to change as the side may be more convenient).
  • Visitor will enter the ‘Main Entrance’ at the front of the building.
  • Mask and Hand Sanitizer will be in the foyer. Please perform proper hand hygiene and wear the provided medical mask.
  • Visitor will be screened over the treehouse phone/intercom before entering.
  • Visitor will be escorted to main floor dining room for visits.
  • Visitor must wear mask for the entire visit and maintain a 6 foot distance at all times.
  • Visits are limited to 30 mins.
  • All visits will be supervised by staff.
  • After visit is over, visitor may exit through the dining room door.

Outdoor Visits

  • Up to 5 visitors at a time. They do not need to be the same 5 each time.
  • Parking is in the front for the Gazebo, Parking is in HavenBrook parking area for the covereddeck.
  • Please follow the signage. Wait in designated area for staff to give direction. Ensure you arrive with your mask on. Mask can be either medical or non‐medical.
  • Use provided hand sanitizer prior to screening.
  • Staff member will screen visitors and then escorted to designated area.
  • Must maintain 6ft distance for duration of visit.
  • Once seated in the designated area, masks can be removed. Mask must be put back on while exiting.

Please note that these protocols are subject to change based on best practices and direction from the
Chief Medical Officer of Health. The facility reserves the right to cancel visits at any time, for example
active cases in our community.

Reporting COVID‐19 SYMPTOMS For Visitors

If you have any ONE of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal Congestion/runny nose
  • Hoarse voice
  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

Do not come to Valley View Villa. Call either Lisa White or the Nurses Station to report your symptoms(s).

If you develop symptoms within 14 days of after your visit, you must call 811 and notify the nurses station.

It is important to always self‐screen and always report your symptoms. Even with few cases of COVID‐19 being reported in NS, we must continue to protect our residents and follow all guidelines. It is the law.

Visitation Updates

Valley View Villa is excited to learn that provincial leaders feel confident enough in our public health to further lift restrictions effective July 22, 2020. We will work towards incorporating the changes as best as possible; however, there are other operational barriers that many of our long term care homes are now facing that don’t fall under the public health plan. For now we are not scheduling indoor visits until a feasible and safe plan is established.

Please understand that our first priority is the safety and care of our residents and we know that time spent with families and loved ones is of paramount importance. We hope to work through this matter quickly and with the least amount of impact on our residents. We appreciate the continued understanding and public support that is shown to Valley View Villa.

Marcus Stephenson

Family Memo – Visitation Updates

As mentioned last week, outdoor family visits have been allowed in LTC. Our staff have been working
extra hard this week to create a comfortable space to make visits a great experience for both you and
your loved one. We have been upgrading the Gazebo in the front of the building. Floor boards were
replaced and covered with plywood, the bottom rails have been walled, its completely screened in, fresh
coat of paint, decorated, electric heater will be above resident for cool days, lighting, gardens redone,
and furnished.

If you wish to book a visit please contact Lisa White by emailing her at Those who had
a window visit booked, will be moved to the outdoor visits. There is high volume of requests for visiting.
For this reason, we are only allowing 1 visit per resident per week. Due to the demand, we are already
working on a 2nd location to increase our capacity. We are covering the deck off the Oak Wing that leads
to the outdoor courtyard. We are also submitting our staffing increase request to support these visits
with a formalized process through the Department of Health. Once complete, we will be sure to keep
everyone posted.

When you arrive for your visit, please arrive on time (even 5 minutes early) to process the required
paperwork. You may park in the first two parking spots out front of the facility. Signage will designate
the family visitor spots. You will be greeted by our staff at the Gazebo. Here you will be given a mask to
wear (or you can bring your own), your temperature will be taken with an touchless thermometer, and a
form you are required to fill out asking a series of questions for screening purposes. This paperwork is
mandatory. This paperwork would be used by Public Health in the event of a facility outbreak. Once your
paperwork is complete, you will be offered a snack and refreshment from our fixed menu. You will be
seated in the gazebo in a designated spot, at which point your loved one will then be brought out to
their designated spot. Your visit will be restricted to 20‐30 mins (depending on set up). All surfaces will
be cleaned in between visits.

All visits will be monitored by a staff member. Maintaining at social distance of 2 meters (6ft) is required
at all times. Unfortunately, you will not be able to hug, kiss, or make any direct contact. Any visitor who
violates the mandates issued by Chief Medical Office of Health, will be asked to leave immediately and
will be prohibited from returning to the property. The resident or loved one you made contact with, will
also be required to isolate for 14 days (as per Public Health). I trust that everyone will respect the rules,
as they are to protect our most vulnerable. If we feel the program is unsafe, Valley View Villa reserve the
right to cancel.

We are very excited to have this available. Look forward to seeing you and your loved one reconnect
and enjoy the summer days.


Marcus Stephenson

Provincial Update

June 10, 2020

Dear clients and families,We are now three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted every Nova Scotian. While we will begin to see some reintroduction of health services, we expect that long-term care will continue to have many precautions in place to ensure we continue to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. As a result, you may wait longer for placement than originally thought. We want to assure you that you will remain on the long-term care wait list. We are unable to predict when we will be able to place more people from community, but rest assured we will keep you informed as the situation evolves.

A number of measures have been put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in both long-term care and home care, including:

  • mandatory use of masks by staff in resident care areas
  • health screening of employees before they start their shift (includes health questions and temperature)
  • monitoring long-term care residents / home care clients (health questions and temperature checks)
  • testing symptomatic residents / home care clients / health care workers
  • mandatory compliance with restrictions on social gathering
  • social distancing
  • good hand and respiratory hygiene
  • rigorous cleaning

As you know, there have been a number of cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff within long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia. We have seen outbreaks contained and controlled at various long-term care facilities. At the same time, we are saddened by the situation at Nova Scotia’s largest facility. Government and NSHA, with support from the IWK Health Centre and from other health care organizations, have worked closely with Northwood to contain the spread and focus on the care and safety of residents and staff.

It is important that you and your family stay well informed. Trustworthy sources of information on COVID-19 include or call the federal government’s COVID19 hotline at 1-833-784-4397. We also encourage you and your family to visit to view additional resources as well as sign up for email alerts for information regarding NSHA Continuing Care programs and services.

It is a difficult time for everyone, but if we all do our part, we will reduce the spread of the virus and life will return to normal sooner. As always, if your care needs or circumstances change, please contact your NSHA Care Coordinator or you can call toll free 1-800-225-7225. We will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.


Susan Stevens, Senior Director, Continuing Care, NSHA


Vicki Elliot-Lopez, Senior Executive Director, Continuing Care, Department of Health & Wellness

Feed Nova Scotia

At Valley View Villa, we recognize that not the lives of not only our residents but also their families have been impacted by COVID-19.

If you or someone you know is struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic, Valley View Villa encourages you to access Feed Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Food Box Program. 

Feed Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Food Box program is a short-term initiative to provide home delivery of food to Nova Scotians who need food support and can’t get to a food bank or other food support programs. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please call 211 on weekdays from 8am-8pm. Their phone navigators will help identify whether this program is a good fit.

Please note:

  • At this point individuals must call 211 for intake, weekdays from 8am-8pm.
  • Each food box contains non-perishable items to help provide food support for up to seven days. A household with one person will receive two food boxes. A household with two or more people will receive four food boxes. No household will receive more than four food boxes in a single delivery. There is a limited capacity of food boxes. If someone needs food support and can’t get to a food bank or other food support programs, we encourage them to make use of this program while it’s available.
  • Food boxes will be delivered throughout the province by community partners, volunteers and courier, depending on the location. In all regions, the matching and delivery process is managed by Feed Nova Scotia. Delivery times will vary between 1-5 days.

Remember, food banks are still there.

Most food banks and meal programs are still open with processes in place to safely serve their communities. If you or someone you know is in need of food and do have the ability to access a food bank or meal program, please consider this option. To find a food bank nearby, people should call 211 or visit Feed Nova Scotia’s website and click on the Find Food button:

Letter to Families

Dear Family & Loved Ones,

As we move through our first wave here in Nova Scotia, I am proud to say that our efforts have been successful. No resident or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. We are finding new ways to live with COVID-19, and we continue to be extra diligent in our safety. We have required staff to wear masks in the care area, sectioned the building into 4 units (cohorts) where staff have their own entry ways, resident temperatures are monitored twice daily and sent into Public Health, staff are screened before entering the building, mandatory PPE training for staff, and increase in staffing levels in all departments to allow for cohorting.

The threshold for testing is low. There is a lengthy list of symptoms that will now require testing (both residents and staff). Testing is done regularly. This is an extra safety precaution to ensure active cases are caught early. We know that the province is actively working on phases to reopen the economy. It has been noted that opening the facility will occur in the later phases, as our residents are most vulnerable. Once we know more on how the facility is phased into reopening, we will share with families and public. This will be in consultation with the sector and public health.

Valley View Villa continues to strive for excellence on a daily basis. Every day new measures are discussed and implemented to improve the safety and wellbeing of our loved ones. As the economy opens back up on June 5th, we know that a possible 2nd wave is to soon hit the province. For this reason, Valley View Villa will remain diligent and cautious.

We have been approved a music therapist for the summer, as well an additional summer student to help with recreation. In our most recent family satisfaction survey, it was noted more attention needs to be given to our gardens. We have applied for federal funding to address this and anticipate hearing in the next week or two. We know that these are difficult times for your loved ones who have been isolated. Know that our staff go above and beyond in all aspects of care. You can see all staff socializing with residents, doing recreational activities, assist residents to connect families through IPADs, haircare, and much more.

Please check out our new webpage, it is a lot more inviting and usable. We are hoping to have a COVID19 tab available soon, to better inform families and the public. If you have any questions, please reach out. Valley View Villa is here for your loved one, and will always put them FIRST.

Marcus Stephenson

COVID 19 Symptoms Update

Please note that the Province of Nova Scotia has released an updated list of COVID-19 symptoms. 

If you have any one of the COVID-19 symptoms, or any other symptoms that concern you, call 811 for assessment by a nurse.

Possible symptoms of COVID-19 are now as follows:

COVID-19 Statement

We wanted to let everyone know that recreation is still doing small programs and one on ones daily with our residents! We have been keeping them busy with arts & crafts, board games, sing alongs, daily treats including cotton candy, one on one visits & much more!

Window and iPad visits are still going on also, to book please contact Lisa White at 902-755-5780 ext 205 or always, for anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us.


March 24, 2020


Dear Resident, Families, and Loved Ones,

Valley View Villa has been monitoring COVID‐19 since its inception in the early winter. Over the past few weeks, new preventative measures have been taken on a daily basis as the virus spreads across the province. We are taking the matter very seriously, as we know the risk this virus poses to our seniors. Valley View Villa is committed to take any and every preventative measure to keep our residents safe and free from this virus entering our facility.

As you may be aware, we have already taken several measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Most are measures that are directed by Public Health, where we have further taken extra precautions to stay ahead of this virus.

Measures we have taken are but are not limited to:

  • Closing our facility to visitors
  • Staff who traveled out of the country and province are to stay isolated for 14 days
  • Restricting access and entrances to the facility
  • Ensuring proper disinfection of our physical environment
  • Properly sterilize and process any equipment, food or supplies that enter the facility
  • Limiting contract workers and screening
  • Staff education and training
  • Increased staffing levels

We would like to make note that any personal items or care packages sent to the home will not be accepted. We appreciate the gesture, but please contact recreation as we may be able to purchase items for your loved one for you. This will ensure for proper disinfection and processing.

Even though the facility is closed, we have set up a place for you to see your loved one in an enclosed area. You will be separated by glass, but a phone will be provided. If this is of interest, please contact recreation to schedule a visit. If you wish to use technology to connect with your family member, please ask recreation and we will make the arrangements.

Currently there are no presumptive cases in Valley View Villa with both the residents or the staff. We wish to maintain a high level of care as we are known for. If you have any further questions please contact the RN or Recreation. We will provide families frequent updates. Know we are in this together and we are all committed to our residents and their quality of life.

Marcus Stephenson

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