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 Safe Visiting Policy
On March 15, 2020, The Brenda Strafford Foundation implemented a Visitation Ban (view PDF Notice) to protect our senior residents living in continuing care in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and its emergence in Calgary. A Visitation Ban in continuing care centres was later implemented as mandatory by Order of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) on April 7, 2020.
Pursuant to CMOH Order 29-2020 (issued July 17, 2020) the CMOH has determined that it is desirable to allow further visitation to take place within continuing care and other healthcare facilities. The Brenda Strafford Foundation welcomes the gradual reintroduction of families and visitors returning into continuing care sites as an essential component of well-being and quality of life for residents – in a safe and controlled manner.
The CMOH Order 29-2020 and the BSF Safe Visiting Policy take effect on July 23, 2020.
Download BSF COVID-19 Safe Visiting Policy (Version 8: Effective 2021-02-25)
Safe Visiting Policy (PDF)
Download BSF COVID-19 Safe Visiting Practice Guidelines (Version 2: 2020-08-20)
Safe Visiting Guidelines (PDF)
Recommended Videos in Safe Visiting Practice Guidelines:
Download Designated Family Support Person & Visitor Liability, Waiver and Indemnity Agreement
BSF Safe Visiting Quick Reference Guides
Designated Family/Support Person Community Walk Outdoor Visit Offsite Outing
BSF Organizational Risk Assessment is currently: Medium/High
Based on organizational risks identified as:
- COVID-19 ‘Wave 3’ with daily new case rates rising again (significantly higher than first peak in spring)
- Alberta’s stepped approach (‘The Path Forward’) to re-opening businesses and services and easing public health restrictions will increase risk in the community. Alberta has reverted back to 'Step 1' based on rising case rates and hospitalizations.
- COVID-19 vaccine supply shortages: Delay in staff immunization; Delay in immunization roll-out plan including general community/visitors; Uncertainty of ongoing immunization. processes and timelines for new residents.
- Impact of the variant of COVID-19; Contagiousness; Effectiveness of vaccine.
- COVID-19 ‘fatigue’ in residents, families, visitors and staff could lead to breaches in IPC, PPE and health and safety protocols.
Site-based Risk Assessment
- Note: Each BSF site might have an individual risk assessment level that is different to the BSF organizational risk assessment, based on site-specific circumstances (such as outbreaks at the site or outbreaks in the surrounding community close to the site)
- At present the site risk assessment is "High Risk" for: Cambridge Manor (site currently on outbreak)
COVID-19 Current Outbreak Disclosure
Information on the status of a confirmed outbreak will be updated as frequently as possible, at minimum daily Monday-Friday during active site outbreaks when there is a change in the outbreak status. If there is no change to the outbreak status or case numbers, there will be no update. The 'last updated' date will reflect the last time there was a change in the status at any site - (last updated April 13, 2021).
Bow View Manor
- Outbreak declared over on February 8
- There are currently no active cases in residents or staff
- Designated family/support visitation is open
- New outbreak declared on April 13
- There is currently one active cases in a staff member
- Designated family/support visitation is temporarily suspended. Visitation in extenuating circumstances is permitted by approval of the Administrator.
- Outbreak declared over March 31
- There are currently no active cases in residents or staff
- Designated family/support visitation is open
- Outbreak declared over on March 31
- There are currently no active cases in residents or staff
- Designated family/support visitation is open
- Designated family/support visitation is open
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 Entry Screening requirements to enter BSF Manors?
- Active screening is taking place at a single entrance point for ALL employees and any visitor who is permitted to enter our Manors.
- Screening for everyone includes a temperature check for fever plus travel, health/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 take my loved one out of the site temporarily on an outing?
- View BSF Safe Visitation Quick Reference Guide: Offsite Outings
- Residents who are not required to quarantine/isolate are still encouraged to stay on site property, except in the case of necessity (i.e. medically-necessary appointment, or essential financial or legal matters that are required to be tended to in person).
- It is recommended that all medical or other services that can be facilitated online or by telephone should be done virtually/remotely, whenever possible.
- Social outings/extended stays off-site will be subject to risk assessment and approval by the Administrator regardless of the duration of the outing.
- During high risk periods (such as during an active site outbreak or high community prevalence) when BSF Safe Visiting Policy identifies 'Restricted Access and Enhanced Safety Precautions,' all non-essential/social, off-site outings are strongly discouraged and will automatically require a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their return, regardless of the duration or destination of the outing.
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 typically 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 as required (i.e. gown, gloves, face shield 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 Unit’ 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 Unit.
- 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 Unit.
- 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 Unit will also provide extra protection to other residents, by acting to contain the spread, and reduce the risk of transmission within the resident neighbourhoods.
What can residents and families expect if a resident with COVID-19 is transferred to the Isolation Unit?
- Download Isolation Unit Information Sheet (PDF)
- The purpose of this Information Sheet is to help residents and families understand what an Isolation Unit means, why it is the most effective way to provide the best and safest care, and what to expect.
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 August 31, 2020 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.
- Designated Family/Support Persons are now permitted to visit indoors and may resume doing laundry for residents offsite if desired, when a site is not on outbreak. Please speak to the site if you wish to make arrangements to cancel the laundry and commence doing a resident's laundry.
- If a site is on outbreak, and/or there are visitation restrictions in place for any reason which restricts a Designated Family/Support Persons ability to enter the site to pick-up and drop-off laundry, sites will automatically resume laundry on-site. When the visitation restriction is lifted, Designated Family/Support Persons may resume doing residents laundry.
- Residents and families that choose for the site to continue doing a resident's laundry when there is no restriction in place will incur the monthly ancillary service charge.
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.
When will Hair Salon/Barber services be available on-site for residents again ?
- 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, 2020.
- Please take note of the following considerations:
- Hairdressing or barbering services are not permitted in the case of a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
- Hairdressing or barbering services must not be provided to symptomatic or isolated residents.
- Site specific circumstances may disrupt the service offerings or cancel them entirely for a period of time.
- Services are subject to enhanced cleaning, infection prevention and control and physical distancing practices.
Do residents have access to other health professionals on-site and off-site?
- 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):
- Ensure that the health provider the resident is seeing is aware of any symptoms the resident is currently experiencing if applicable, in advance of arriving for the appointment.
- Arrangements should be made with the practitioner’s office to book an appointment time where the resident’s potential contact with others is reduced.
- Ensure transportation arrangements are as safe as possible.
- Operators will provide masks for the resident to use while they are at the off-site appointment.
- It is recommended that the resident bring hand sanitizer and use after each touchpoint (e.g. after getting out of vehicle, upon arrival to office, after interaction with reception, etc.).
- The resident must be screened (Health Assessment) upon re-entry into the facility where they live.
- Until further notice, The Foundation will continue to implement a precautionary isolation period for all residents returning from off-site essential health services. This precautionary isolation will now be reduced to a 5 day period and residents can come off isolation with a negative COVID-19 test after 5 days. This isolation precaution is over-and-above the requirement of the CMOH Order, but has recently been reduced from a 14 day isolation requirement.
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.
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, if the site has a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, the operator must stop admissions into the site unless at the explicit direction of the AHS Zone Medical Officer of Health. Admissions may resume during the outbreak under certain circumstances as defined by AHS to improve patient flow from acute care to continuing care centres, or in consultation with the AHS MOH.
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:
Can I deliver food or other items and supplies to residents?
- 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 items 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 are necessities of daily life and essential to their health and well-being.
- The Foundation now permits increased delivery of food to sites. The delivery of perishable food/meals will now be accepted, and no longer only limited to designated visitors when they can bring food in with them.
- This means non-designated visitors can now drop-off food/meals to the site’s screening/reception area for delivery to the resident’s suite.
- It also means that if designated visitors are temporarily restricted from entering the site (i.e. due to high-risk assessment during an outbreak), food/meals can still be delivered to the screening/reception area.
- Deliveries of food will not be quarantined for 24 hours and will be delivered to the resident’s suite as soon as possible. All food deliveries must be only be during the site’s reception hours, and in wipeable containers and packaging that can be sanitized.
- We are pleased to provide the following guidelines for the delivery of essential items from others who are not designated family/supported persons:
- Everything that is dropped off must be in a wipeable container/packing (i.e. box or bag) that is clearly labeled with the resident’s name, and the name and phone number of the person delivering the items.
- All items within the package, will then be sanitized before delivery to the resident.
- Any clothing items will be sent directly to the Housekeeping and Laundry department for labeling and laundering before delivery to the resident.
- Deliveries are to be made to the Screening Station at the single designated entry to the site.
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 I contact if I 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.