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On May 25, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) released a new Order that provided guidance on operational and outbreak standards for continuing care. The Brenda Strafford Foundation has reviewed the changes and risk management considerations associated with this new Order, and has developed a plan to implement these operational changes in a safe and precautionary way for the protection of our residents, staff and service providers.
We are pleased to announce the reintroduction of Hair Salon and Barber services in continuing care permitted now when a site is not in COVID-19 outbreak status. The Foundation’s operations team is working with our providers to recommence Hair Salon and Barber services at our sites not on outbreak starting on June 10.
Please take note of the following considerations:
As the broader community opens up and services resume, residents of continuing care are still encouraged to remain on-site except in the case of necessity (e.g. for medically necessary appointments in consultation with your care team). Wherever possible, services should continue to be provided virtually. When services cannot be provided virtually, services may be provided in person within the site, if the resident is not isolated, and with health/risk screening and relevant safety precautions in place. When a resident is isolated, decisions about accessing services will be made on a case-by-case basis.
When it is medically necessary for a resident to access services off-site (i.e. in the practitioner’s office):
Recreational and group activities for non-isolated residents are permitted and encouraged when a site is not on outbreak status. It is recommended that previously cancelled activities are reintroduced incrementally. Low risk activities should be introduced first (e.g. activities that do not use shared equipment and are suitable to physical distancing requirements). Higher risk activities (such as group singing, preparing food, etc.) should be avoided.
Both indoor and outdoor group sizes may be increased to no more than 15 people, including residents and staff members, while ensuring the space is able to accommodate all physical distancing requirements. It is ideal to keep group sizes as small as possible.
In addition to these directives in accordance with the CMOH Order, The Foundation has been reviewing our practices in relation to the delivery of essential supplies, companion services and screening criteria for outdoor visits.
In consultation with BSF’s Medical Directors and Alberta Health Services guidelines, it is understood the virus generally only survives for a few hours on a surface or object, but it may be possible for it to survive several days under some conditions. To be safe, it is recommended by Alberta Health Services that families and visitors please continue to refrain from bringing unessential gifts at this time. However, we also know that residents continue to need access to essential supplies and families are eager to ensure that their loved ones continue to receive items that are essential to their health and well-being, and are necessities of daily life.
We are pleased to introduce the following guidelines for the delivery of essential items:
We have heard from families who want to the option for paid companion services for residents. BSF will continue to restrict the entry of external companion services (i.e. agencies) at this time. However, we are reviewing the possibility of allocating in-house Foundation staff to offer companion services for residents as part of the Auxiliary Services (charges will apply) using in-house existing staff. More information will be provided soon on this process at each site.
Public health guidelines continue to not recommend any non-essential out of province travel at this time. As such, BSF includes out of province travel as part of our Health and Risk Assessment screening criteria for Outdoor Visits. Recent travel from out of province will not automatically exclude a visitor from participating in an Outdoor Visit, and Administrators may approve those who have recently traveled from out of province on a case-by-case basis, depending on the location and assessed risk.
BSF has now expanded our Outdoor Visit guidelines to include children. There is no age restriction on visitors, however children (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by an adult, and a child of any age counts as the second visitor.
We know these are important developments for our residents and families. We are pleased to be able to further support our mission to optimize well-being and enrich lives within the unusual challenges we all face at this time.
President and CEO