Coronavirus (Covid-19) update (7pm 12th March 2020).
Following recent communications, we are writing to let you know that we are accelerating Middleton Hall’s response to Coronavirus as part of our Contingency Plan.
Firstly, thank you to all the residents and families who have been positive and supportive of the difficult decisions that we are having to make at a time of a national crisis.
As the spread of the virus is continuing to escalate in the UK and there has been a case in Darlington, we are continuing to be proactive and focus on reducing risk for our community. We have a Co-owner who has been off sick since Wednesday with what appears to be conventional ‘flu, but have treated it as if it is Coronavirus both as a precaution and to test our systems and response to a situation if we do have someone in the community with Coronavirus.
As a result, we have decided to take some further precautions around communal facilities and to reduce cross community contacts for the next few weeks – in effect some “social distancing” that some governments have talked about.
- The Orangery will be closing at 6pm Thursday 12th March for two weeks.
- The Stables shop will also close, but we will be offering a delivery service for essential items in Middleton Grove, Middleton Woods and The Waterside
- The Restaurant will also be closed from this evening. Anyone who has a booking will of course receive a refund of their deposit. This will include bookings for Sunday lunch and unfortunately Mother’s Day. We will use the Vision Room as a dining room for Middleton Grove. We are looking into offering a “Deliveroo” style delivery service for hot meals for Middleton Woods and The Waterside and will let you know about that shortly.
- Middleton Spa will close immediately for Middleton Grove, Middleton Gardens, Middleton Court and Middleton Oaks residents again for an initial period of two weeks. We will keep the swimming pool and gym open for Independent Living residents for now, but with separate sessions for Middleton Woods and The Waterside. We may close the gym if the situation develops further or probably all of Middleton Spa. A revised timetable will be published tomorrow for Saturday onwards, allowing time for deep cleaning. There will not be hairdressing or therapies for the next two weeks.
- Members of the team from Middleton Spa will be allocated a particular care service to work in and will provide exercises and Living Well activities in those services so that residents have activities to choose from within their service.
- The library will be closed for the next few weeks. If Middleton Woods or Waterside residents wish to use the art studio, pavilion or bowling green we would ask them to email reception and we will look at arranging times for small groups.
- Middleton Grove, Middleton Gardens, Middleton Oaks and Middleton Court will maintain their existing teams working exclusively in that service and with dedicated housekeepers and nights to reduce contact between the services
- All activities that operate with multiple services (crafts, art, current affairs etc) will be suspended for the next few weeks
- We will continue some outings to areas that avoid shared public spaces for individual care services along with trips for essential hospital appointments. We are aiming to have a dedicated driver for each care service.
- Resident Volunteers in Independent Living (leaseholders) have offered to help with shopping and keeping an eye out for residents living on their own – we are very grateful to residents for offering to help.
- We are reviewing private cleans in Middleton Woods and The Waterside and will speak to residents individually about whether they wish to suspend those for a period of time. If we are hit by school closures or illness, we may need to withdraw the service in any case.
- Reception will remain open but primarily for telephone contact. We may increase the telephone cover from Monday as we are having high levels of phone calls.
We would continue to ask families and friends to avoid or reduce visits to residents for the next two weeks unless essential, especially if they have been in areas where there is increased risk of Coronavirus – major conurbations like London, and not to visit at all if they have returned from abroad within the previous 14 days. All the care services can help residents with Skype or Facetime on the iPads that we have in each service – if you call the relevant care service, they should be able to arrange a video call.
This is obviously a fast-moving situation and we will react as it develops. If there are school closures next week that will provide us with some further challenges so we will keep you updated.
As you are aware, we have been organising for the last four weeks for this situation, so we believe that we are as prepared as we can be.
The key advice remains vigilance about handwashing. Two useful sources of information are:
Thank you again to all the community for their support in dealing with an unprecedented and difficult situation. I can assure you that we will continue to try and keep the focus on reducing risk and acting pragmatically in taking a precautionary approach.
We will continue to keep everyone updated by email rather than post. As previously requested, please make sure that we have up to date email contact details for all family members or friends of residents who wish to be kept up to date. Email email@example.com with name of resident, name of family contact and relationship to resident. These details will only be used for communication about our contingency plan.
If you have any queries, please email or call reception for further information.