COVID-19 Updates and Precautions
Important Information for Residents, Families and Visitors
While we are currently focused on enhanced health and safety measures, we continue to be guided by our core value ‘People First.’ People are always at the centre of everything we do!Our residents are at higher risk of serious illness from exposure to COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses. As seniors living in continuing care communities are a population that is at higher risk, BSF is taking all reasonable, necessary and proactive Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures to prevent the occurrence or spread of COVID-19 within our Manors. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time, for the health and safety of all those who live, work and visit our Manors.
Please check this page frequently for new updates and information.
BSF has implemented a ban on all non-essential visitors at our Manors, due to precaution for COVID-19 and the safety of our residents. This visitation ban has been in effect since 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Doors to our sites will remain locked to all non-essential visitors until further notice.
Visitation Ban Notice (PDF)
Current Situation at BSF
- Information on the status of a confirmed outbreak and the number of confirmed positive cases at our Manors will be updated as frequently as possible (last updated at June 4, 2020).
||Bow View Manor
(Outbreak declared over May 30)
(Outbreak declared over May 24)
(Outbreak declared over May 13)
(declared May 3)
|Total Resident Cases
|Resident Recovered Cases
|Resident Active Cases
|Total Staff Cases
|Staff Recovered Cases
|Staff Active Cases
- Outbreak declared April 14 / Outbreak declared over May 9 (Three Nursing employees)
- New outbreak declared May 14 / Outbreak declared over May 30 (Two Nursing employees)
- Outbreak declared April 8 / Outbreak declared over May 24
- All residents affected reside in the same neighborhood
- Ten BSF employees (Care)
- Eight Aramark employees (Kitchen, Housekeeping, Laundry)
- Outbreak declared April 15 / Outbreak declared over May 13
- Five BSF Nursing employees
- Two Aramark employees (Kitchen)
- All residents affected from the Residence building
- Six Nursing employees
- One Kitchen employee
Statements from The Brenda Strafford Foundation:
For all media inquiries or interview requests with the President and CEO, please contact:
Manager, Communications and Marketing
The Brenda Strafford Foundation
Office: 403.536.8682 | julie.arnold@theBSF.ca
Frequently Asked Questions
VISITATION, ENTRY SCREENING, AND OUTINGS:
What are the current Visitation Ban restrictions at BSF Manors?
- BSF has implemented a ban on all non-essential visitors at our Manors, due to precaution for COVID-19 and the safety of our residents, based on medical advice and emerging and evolving best practices.
- This visitation ban has been in effect since 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, and doors to our sites will remain locked to all non-essential visitors until further notice.
- It is important to note that Alberta's public health guidelines for visitation to Long Term Care and Continuing Care sites are the minimum guidelines. BSF has implemented restrictions that are over and above the minimum guidelines at this time, in the interest of the safety of our residents.
How long will the visitation ban be in place?
- At this point in time all we can say is ‘until further notice.’
- We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time of uncertainty.
- We continue to closely monitor the public health guidelines and the advice from our medical directors.
- Any changes to the visitation ban will be communicated at that time.
Who is considered an 'essential visitor' and under what circumstance is an essential visitor permitted?
- BSF identifies ‘essential visitors’ for compassionate reasons to include those who are visiting a resident that is at end-of-life, or facing an exceptional personal circumstance (at the discretion of the Administrator at your Manor).
- Please contact the site leadership if you wish to discuss your circumstance in consideration for an essential/compassionate visit.
- Any essential visitation that may be granted by the Administrator will be conditional on meeting the screening requirements for entry.
What are the Entry Screening requirements to enter BSF Manors?
- Active screening is taking place at a single entrance point for ALL employees and anyone considered an essential visitor who is entering our Manors.
- Screening for everyone includes a temperature check for fever plus travel, illness or risk-related screening questions.
- The Brenda Strafford Foundation has a zero-tolerance policy to screening, and anyone that does not pass the screening criteria does not enter the site.
How can I do a ‘Virtual Visit’ or a 'Window Visit' with residents?
- We know how important it is for you to stay connected with your loved ones, especially during these challenging and stressful times.
- That is why we are using and deploying technology for virtual visits to help you to keep in touch, while in-person visitation is restricted. Extra iPads are now available at all of our Manors to help facilitate virtual visiting with residents using video-conferencing technology such as Skype, Zoom or FaceTime.
- We also encourage families and visitors to drop by for a 'window visit,' where your loved one can see you through the window and talk to you on the phone at the same time. If this is difficult based on the location of your loved ones suite, our staff can help to get your loved one to a lobby window or somewhere that is accessible for a window visit. Please ensure that you are practicing all social distancing guidelines if you drop-by for a window visit.
- For help facilitating a virtual visit or window visit please contact the Recreation Department at your Manor to make arrangements (Bow View Manor Recreation: 403.444.7202, Clifton Manor Recreation: 587.952.6038, Tudor Manor Recreation: 403.995.6811, Wentworth Manor Recreation: 403.686.8607).
Can I still bring in food or supplies to my loved one even though I can’t visit?
- In the best interests for the health and safety of all residents, in order to prevent the occurrence of COVID-19 (or any other illness) inside our Manors, we continue to ask families and loved ones please not to bring any unnecessary food or other supplies to residents at this time until further notice.
- This measure is to reduce all unnecessary visits to our Manors, and ensure we can maintain the highest standards of Infection Prevention and Control within our sites by reducing the potential of exposure to contaminated surfaces on containers and packaging.
- The Brenda Strafford Foundation is able to supply most commonly required items and supplies including toiletries, personal care items, and candy and snacks. We are happy to work with residents and families to ensure that we can supply items you may require. Please contact us to make any necessary arrangements.
- However, we do understand that this restriction can have a significant impact on the quality of life for our residents (especially those with particular dietary requirements or preferences that are supported by families who provide special foods). In special cases, where it is considered essential for the well-being of residents, food and other necessary supplies or care package items may be delivered to residents by exception upon approval of the Administrator under the following conditions:
- Food or supplies are to be delivered for drop-off at reception (visitors will not be permitted entry to the site beyond reception to visit and deliver their items directly to residents)
- Food prepared from home may be brought in (not food from restaurants as that has a higher-risk of contamination)
- Food or items must be stored/sealed in containers that can be sanitized (if food is required to be hot it should be contained in a thermos/insulated container)
- Deliveries should be made to reception with all items inside a cardboard box that is clearly labelled (the contents will be inspected and sanitized before it is delivered to the room)
- Food may only be stored and served/eaten in the residents room (consumption of outside food will not be allowed in common areas) and may not be heated using site microwaves/ovens.
- Your judgement on the essential nature of a food or supply delivery, and your cooperation and understanding in this matter is greatly appreciated.
- If you have a concern about your personal situation and the supply of essential food or other necessary items for your loved one, please contact the site leadership at your Manor.
Can I take my loved one out of the site temporarily on an outing?
- All non-essential resident outings are restricted at this time with the exception of medical appointments that are considered necessary (in consultation with the physician and care team), or under exceptional circumstances for compassionate reasons (in consultation with the Manor Administrator).
- Any resident returning to the Manor (from an essential appointment or exceptional circumstance) will be screened upon their return, and may be required to have enhanced monitoring or quarantine/isolation measures if necessary.
Can I take my loved one out to stay at home for the time being?
- If you choose to take a loved one out of our Manors to stay with you in your home at this time, it is important that you are aware of the following considerations:
- What is your ability to limit your loved ones risk of exposure in the community?
- What is your ability to care for loved ones specific health and wellness needs?
- If you voluntarily take your loved one home, there is a risk they will likely not be able to return to the Manor at a time of your choosing.
- Alberta Health Services have issued the following guidance should family members wish to take a resident home to care for them during an outbreak:
- It is strongly recommended that families understand the resident’s care requirements and have any supplies/equipment in place. This decision should be made in conjunction with the residents care team, physician, at-home supports, AHS Home Care (if applicable) and any alternate decision maker (as applicable).
- AHS Home Care is limited in capacity due to COVID-19 pandemic preparations and may be unable to provide services.
- Residents will not be re-admitted while the facility is in any level of outbreak. Facilities may be in outbreak for extended periods of time (i.e. weeks to months).
- Families must understand they will be responsible for the care of the resident (and any additional costs incurred) until the facility is able to re-admit the client.
TESTING, RESULTS AND PROTOCOLS FOR CONTAINMENT:
What is the process to test residents for COVID-19 and what is the process once the results are received?
- We continue to closely monitor all residents for any symptoms of the virus or any illness. All residents receive temperature checks for fever twice daily.
- Residents in continuing care are identified by the province as a priority for COVID-19 testing and processing of results. Results are received within 24-48 hours.
- Early testing and appropriate isolation precautions now occur at the first sign of any symptom in a resident. The resident remains in isolation in their room (meals, care, and recreation will all happen in the room) and staff utilize appropriate PPE (gown, gloves, and mask) until the results are received.
- If the result is negative for COVID-19, the resident is able to come out of isolation, or the appropriate care and treatment plan is determined by the care team depending on the resident's illness or health status.
- If the result is positive for COVID-19, the resident remains isolation and the BSF implements the COVID-19 containment plan.
What will BSF do to contain the spread of the virus if a positive case is confirmed?
- In addition to our thorough prevention efforts, BSF has also been focused on developing a comprehensive containment plan. Should the unfortunate event occur when a resident or staff member is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, we are ready to respond.
- This includes the implementation of a dedicated ‘Isolation Ward’ at each of our sites.
- In the first case of one individual resident that is confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, that individual will remain cared for in-place, in isolation within their suite, with full isolation procedures in effect.
- In the event that more than one resident is confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, all affected residents will be immediately and safely transferred to the dedicated Isolation Ward.
- This process will ensure that residents affected by COVID-19 will be appropriately and safely cared for at the highest standard by a dedicated care team who are trained and prepared for working in the Isolation Ward.
- It will also ensure that the appropriate PPE and safety precautions are always used by staff with exposure to the affected residents. And it will appropriately conserve the usage of PPE that is in high-demand.
- The Isolation Ward will also provide extra protection to other residents, by acting to contain the spread, and reduce the risk of transmission within the resident neighbourhoods.
How will families be notified if a resident is tested for COVID-19, and if they are confirmed to have COVID-19?
- If a resident presents any symptoms and is being tested for COVID-19, the nursing team will contact the designated family or emergency contact to notify you of the change in health status of the resident. You will also be notified as soon as the results are received.
- Any family member or emergency contact for a resident that is confirmed to be COVID-positive, will be contacted directly by the professional nursing team.
- The designated family or point of contact for any resident confirmed to have COVID-19 will, at minimum, continue to receive daily phone calls about the status of your loved one from a professional nurse or member of the management team.
- In the case of a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 at one of our sites, ALL designated family or emergency contacts for every resident in the building will also be notified as immediately as possible. We will be assigning staff to phone all families in the event that this occurs.
- We will keep all families regularly informed of the situation on an ongoing basis, through phone calls (as possible), and emails or information on our website.
WELLNESS AND SUPPORT SERVICES:
What if I usually do my loved ones laundry at home?
- Until further notice, arrangements will automatically be made for all residents’ laundry to be done within our Manors by our Housekeeping and Laundry services.
- This measure is to reduce all unnecessary visits to our Manors for the pick-up/drop-off of laundry, and to ensure we can maintain the highest standards of Infection Prevention and Control within our sites.
How has dining been affected and what changes have been made to meal times?
- Our dining services are modified to ensure social distancing measures at meal times, but our kitchen and dietary teams are working hard to ensure that meals and meal times remain an enjoyable and safe experience for residents.
- Any self-service (such as the cereal breakfast buffet) has been discontinued at present.
- We have minimized the group size of residents in the dining room at one time and tables are restricted to a maximum of two residents per table to ensure social distancing of residents. In some cases this means that different meal seating times have been introduced, and/or meal times are staggered to accommodate dining in smaller groups.
- All tables are free of 'high touch' items such as condiment baskets, flowers, water pitchers, salt and pepper shakers. Single service packets are provided to residents and/or staff are assisting with providing items to residents using strict hygiene standards during service.
Heightened cleaning and disinfecting is taking place for all tables , chairs, carts, trays and items used for food service.
How is BSF ensuring the delivery of appropriate therapeutic recreation and life enrichment activities for residents?
- Social distancing doesn’t mean isolation – while we are taking necessary and proactive measures to safeguard the health of our residents and employees, we are also taking extra measures to ensure we continue to fulfil our mission to optimize well-being and enrich people’s lives.
- We are modifying our Therapeutic Recreation activities to continue to engage residents in different ways, while keeping ‘social distancing’ and enhanced Infection Prevention and Control measures front of mind. Examples include:
- Pop-up recreation programming is keeping our activities on the neighbourhoods (instead of in larger activity rooms) and ensuring activities are facilitated in small groups.
- We are limiting the equipment used in our small group programming to lessen the potential for contact of shared high-touch surfaces.
- For small group or individual activities, equipment that is used is frequently sanitized between use (such as our goggles and devices that are used for Virtual Reality).
- Ensuring there is still a mixture of physical and fitness programs to keep residents moving, and cognitive programs such as trivia games that keep residents mentally stimulated and engaged.
- Our team members are spending quality time with residents during 1:1 individual visits.
What is BSF doing to support restorative care and rehabilitation for residents?
- Residents with rehabilitation goals continue to be supported to make progress or maintain their mobility abilities.
- While restorative care’s large group classes have been cancelled to support social distancing in our programs, the team is getting out and about on the neighbourhoods to facilitate small group classes, with a ratio of one staff to four residents.
- Walking programs continue on the neighbourhoods, as well as individual strengthening programs.
- The department continues to address equipment needs with site-owned equipment, but have currently put a hold on ordering new wheelchairs and equipment unless it is necessary.
How are physician appointments being managed?
- BSF senior management and clinical leaders are working closely with our Medical Directors who are overseeing physician services.
- Physicians are limiting their visits to sites unless it is considered absolutely medically necessary to do so.
- Virtual physicians assessments have been introduced in collaboration with the Nursing team.
How are prescriptions, laboratory diagnostic services and other services/supplies being handled?
- We are still receiving our medication deliveries from the pharmacy as usual. We have also stocked up on extra supplies of narcotics as part of our preparations. Additional pharmacy services on-site have been suspended at this time. Pharmacists are able to work remotely and also join virtual care conferences remotely.
- Any deliveries to the site, including medication deliveries from the pharmacist, or any other essential medical services/supplies are subject to the screening criteria upon arrival at the sites. Non-essential personnel are restricted from entering, so if it is possible to limit their access/delivery to the reception or loading bay only, they do not enter the site further if it is not necessary to do so.
- Non-essential services are suspended at this time.
Are there any shortages of food or other general supplies?
- No, there are no shortages of food our general supplies. BSF sites are currently well-stocked with food and supplies and are working with our vendors and supply chains to ensure we remain well-stocked with our regular food and supplies.
Are new residents still moving into your sites during the visitation ban?
- Yes, new residents are still moving into our Manors. This is a critical step in ensuring hospitals have beds available in acute care.
- All incoming residents that are being placed directly from hospital will have been tested at the hospital, and no patient with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be transferred from hospital into continuing care.
- BSF will also test all new residents upon arrival at our site, whether they are arriving from hospital, another care centre, or coming in from the community.
- As a precaution, all new residents will be placed in isolation and monitored for 14 days upon their arrival to ensure no symptoms present.
- As per Alberta Health guidelines, no new resident move-ins will be permitted during an outbreak.
Are you doing tours for prospective residents?
- No, all tours of the Manors are as suspended at this time during the visitation ban.
- In the meantime, intake procedures and orientation with new families will be handled remotely.
- We realize this is difficult for new residents and their families, and we look forward to welcoming new families and providing a full tour and orientation of our communities when it is safe to be able to do so.
OTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS:
What can families do to help?
- Thank you for your understanding and support. We are grateful for the outpouring of appreciation, support and encouragement that we have received from families.
- The best thing that you can do to help at this time is to remain patient and understanding (we know how difficult this is and we appreciate your patience and understanding at this very challenging time for us).
- Please keep yourself informed by following the Alberta Heath public health guidelines and keeping up-to-date with the information that is provided by BSF. It is important to remember that the Alberta Health/Alberta Health Services guidelines and requirements are the MINIMUM standards required, and BSF may implement measures that are over-and-above these minimum standards for the protection of our residents and employees. So it is important that you keep up-to-date with BSF-specific updates throughout this time.
- Please keep yourself safe and healthy by following the public health guidelines for the general community.
- Mostly importantly, please continue to support your loved ones who reside in our Manors as best you can. We know how difficult it is to not be able to visit in-person. We encourage you to find other ways to connect: through phone calls, or 'virtual visits' using video-calling technology, dropping by for a 'window visit,' leaving a care package (in line with the guidelines stated above for delivery of food/supplies), or by sending mail! We will do what we can to support you to stay connected.
Who can you contact if you have any questions or concerns about the situation or precautions at BSF Manors?
- Should you have any questions or concerns, please continue to contact the main reception or your regular primary point of contact at your Manor.
- We also welcome you to contact the Program Manager for your neighbourhood, the Director of Nursing or the Administrator at your Manor to discuss any exceptional concerns or circumstances that you might have.
COVID-19 Appeal for Donations
The Brenda Strafford Foundation is closely monitoring our inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We are actively working with our suppliers to ensure we can continue to access the critical equipment and supplies we need, when we need them, to ensure our people are protected. In order to do everything we can to prepare for COVID-19, and continue to effectively prevent the occurrence or spread of COVID-19 within our Manors, we’re asking individuals and organizations to donate any spare personal protective equipment or supplies.
Find out more about how to donate PPE or supplies, or make a monetary donation to the COVID-19 Appeal:
Subscribe to our COVID-19 Mailing List
Residents, Families, Loved Ones and Visitors to our Manors are invited to subscribe to our COVID-19 Special Bulletin Mailing List to stay up to date on changes and news related to the COVID-19 situation and precautions at The Brenda Strafford Foundation.
We encourage you to also check this webpage frequently for information. However, we will continue to send special email bulletins as required and welcome you to subscribe for these updates.