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 December 23, 2021, Alberta Health and Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) issued a new Order for continuing care operators (CMOH Order 58-2021) in response to the rise of community transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The yet unknown challenges it will present to long-term care, licensed supportive living, and hospices, requires immediate action.
BSF COVID-19 Safe Visiting Policy (Version 19 Updated January 4, 2022)
Safe Visiting Policy (PDF)
BSF Organizational Risk Assessment is currently: Medium-High
- In September, 2021, the Government of Alberta declared a new state of public health emergency and announced new mandatory public health measures to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 on the health care system in response to Alberta’s ‘Wave 4’ (after removing restrictions in July for the 'Open for Summer' plan).
- With the threat of the Omicron variant continuing to rise at a rapid pace in the community, the severity of the Omicron variant is not yet known, but it is clear that there is an increased risk of transmission.
- New public health restrictions came into effect December 24 in response to rising 'Wave 5' due to the Omicron variant.
- Children under 5 are unable to get vaccinated.
- Vaccination not mandatory for all Albertans and not mandatory for visitors into healthcare or continuing care sites (although it is mandatory for healthcare workers in Alberta).
- 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: Bow View Manor, Cambridge Manor, Clifton Manor, Tudor Manor and Wentworth Manor (sites with active cases of COVID-19).
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 January 14, 2022.
Bow View Manor
- Outbreak declared on January 2, 2022
- There are 15 active cases in residents and 3 residents are recovered
- There are 11 active cases in staff and 27 staff are recovered
- Visitation is open for 2 Designated Family/Support Persons per resident
- New outbreak declared on December 20, 2021
- There are 5 active cases in residents and 17 residents are recovered
- There are 6 active cases in staff and 29 staff are recovered
- Visitation is open for 2 Designated Family/Support Persons per resident.
- Outbreak declared on January 10, 2022
- There is 1 active case in a resident
- There are no active cases in staff and 17 staff are recovered
- Visitation is open for 2 Designated Family/Support Persons per resident
- Outbreak declared on January 8, 2022
- There is 1 active case in a resident and 1 resident is recovered
- There are 5 active cases in staff and 4 staff are recovered
- Visitation is open for 2 Designated Family/Support Persons per resident
- Outbreak declared on January 9, 2022
- There are 3 active cases in residents and 2 residents are recovered
- There are 2 active cases in staff and 17 staff are recovered
- Visitation is open for 2 Designated Family/Support Persons per resident
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 entering our Manors.
- 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.
- Current restrictions for visitor entry in accordance with Alberta Health mandatory screening include:
- Anyone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19, or has been tested for suspected case of COVID-19 and is awaiting the results, must not enter the site and must follow Alberta Health isolation requirements.
- Anyone that has traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days AND has been directed to quarantine must not enter the site (only recent travelers that have been authorized for an exemption from quarantine are permitted to enter the site).
- Anyone with new onset or worsening of the COVID-19 symptoms must not enter the site, and must isolate and be referred for testing in accordance with Alberta Health Isolation and Testing requirements.
- Any visitor or volunteer that has had known close contact with a lab-confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days must not enter the site for 14 days from the last day of exposure, regardless of their immunization status.
Is COVID-19 vaccination mandatory to visit a BSF site?
- BSF requires all vaccine eligible visitors (aged 5+ years) to provide proof of full immunization for COVID-19 (14 days past second dose).
- If not fully immunized (or unable/unwilling to disclose vaccination status), must have a negative COVID-19 Rapid Test (within 72 hours) to be permitted indoor visitation. Visitors that are medically exempt from getting the COVID-19 vaccine (with documentation of a medical exemption from a physician or nurse practitioner) will also be required to have a negative Rapid Test before indoor visitation at a BSF site.
- Effective from December 27, 2021, any visitor (aged 5 years and older) that is not fully immunized for COVID-19 will be required to undertake a negative rapid test daily upon entry to a BSF site or provide valid proof of a negative result from a privately paid test completed within the past 24 hours.
- Fully immunized visitors must provide their proof of vaccination status upon entry to the site, every time they enter the site, as part of the screening process. BSF will not keep a record of any visitor immunization records on file.
- Valid proof of vaccination includes digital (photo/scan saved on mobile device) or a printed copy of: Government of Alberta issued proof of vaccination with QR Code (available online at: alberta.ca/CovidRecords) – after November 15, 2021 this will be the only accepted method of Alberta issued vaccine verification in line with Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program.
- Vaccine records will continue to be accepted from: First Nations; Military; Other Provinces; and International Travellers.
- In addition to offering rapid antigen tests free of charge to visitors upon entry to the sites, BSF will also accept valid proof of a negative privately paid COVID-19 test (either PCR or Rapid Test).
- The test cannot be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories, in line with the testing requirements from the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program requirement,
- Negative rapid tests completed at home are not valid and only rapid tests completed on site at BSF or with valid documentation from a privately paid test are accepted.
Can I take my loved one out of the site temporarily on an outing?
Can a resident participate in an outing to visit a family member's or loved one’s private home?
- Residents may visit a private residence in accordance with any public health restrictions applicable to private social gatherings in the community.
- The current public health restrictions mean residents can participate in an offsite social visit to a private residence for a gathering that includes a maximum of 10 adults.
Outdoor private social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 20 people, with 2 metre physical distancing between households at all times.
Starting at BSF sites from December 25, 2021, all residents returning from an outing for an absence of greater than 24 hours (regardless of immunization status) are required by CMOH Order to:
- Wear a surgical/procedure mask for 14 days while in common areas of the site except when eating and drinking
- Actively screen for symptoms daily
- Rapid test on days 1, 3 and 7 post-return to site
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.
Are visitors required to wear masks on site?
- Visitors must wear a surgical/procedure mask provided by BSF at all times in all indoor areas of the building including in resident’s rooms. This is a change from a previous CMOH Order that permitted visitors to remove masks within a resident’s private room.
- Any visitor unable to wear a mask due to an approved medical condition requires proof of a medical exemption letter from an authorized health professional (in accordance with Alberta Health requirements for mask exemptions). Anyone with a medical exemption must provide their proof of medical exemption to the Site Administrator for approval and must continue to present their proof of exemption upon each to the visit.
- Exceptions may be made upon the approval of the Site Administrator when visiting residents with communication challenges (i.e. hearing concerns), where wearing a mask would inhibit communication. If an exception is approved, mask may only be removed when inside a private space inside the building (i.e. resident’s suite or private dining room) if the resident consents and a distance of two meters is maintained between the visitor and the resident at all times.
- Children may wear own masks if the provided surgical/procedure masks provided do not fit the child.
- Children under 2 years of age are not required to wear a mask (in line with public health requirements in the community).
Can I bring in food and beverages when I visit to share a meal with a resident ?
Can I bring my pets to visit?
- All BSF Pet Policy guidelines apply including providing the site with the pets current immunization records (contact Therapeutic Recreation for more details).
Do public health restrictions lifting in the community affect the visiting rules in continuing care?
The Government of Alberta issues provincial mandatory public health restrictions applicable to the general community. While these restrictions are applicable to residents when they are on outings in the broader community, any relevant CMOH Orders applicable to Continuing Care Operators still apply within the continuing care environment. For example (but not limited to):
Screening and masking for Staff, Volunteers, Service Providers and Visitors
High-touch cleaning requirements in common areas
Select quarantine/isolation requirements when needed
Continue to practice frequent hand washing or hand sanitizing
Operational considerations and restrictions during outbreak or high risk periods
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).
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.
- 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 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 developed 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 with the appropriate isolation precautions.
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.
What information can all families except if a site is on outbreak?
- In the case of a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 at one of our sites, all families on the email distribution list will be notified of a new site outbreak by email, and will receive ongoing emails as required based on any developments or changes.
- Any designated family or emergency contacts who have opted in to receive the optional courtesy phone call will also be notified by phone 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 emails as the primary method of communication, and through information on case numbers on our website, or through town halls and phone calls as required.
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.
- Family/Visitors may now resume doing laundry for residents offsite if desired. Please speak to the site if you wish to make arrangements to cancel the laundry and commence doing a resident's laundry.
- If there are visitation restrictions in place for any reason which restricts a family or visitor's 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, family/visitors 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.
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.
- If restorative care’s large group classes are directed to be cancelled (i.e. as enhanced precaution during an outbreak) 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 Hair Salon/Barber services available on-site for residents?
- We are pleased to announce the reintroduction of Hair Salon and Barber services in continuing care permitted now (as of June 10, 2020).
- Salon services are subject to application public health orders. Please take note of the following considerations:
- 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 (i.e during outbreak if directed by MOH).
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.).
How has dining been affected and what changes have been made to meal times?
- Our dining services have been 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.
Heightened cleaning and disinfecting is taking place for all tables , chairs, carts, trays and items used for food service.
As announced on July 13, 2021, restrictions on dining are being lifted to pre-pandemic experiences unless directed otherwise by MOH in case of outbreak management.
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.
- New resident move-ins are subject to all Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services guidelines or restrictions if applicable for admission into continuing care.
Are you doing tours for prospective residents?
- Tours are now permitted at BSF for both private choice care and funded residents.
- Tours must be prearranged (no drop in tours can be accommodated at this time).
- Intake procedures and orientation with new families will be handled remotely.
- We realize current restrictions in continuing care are 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?
All visitors are permitted to bring items, gifts and food for residents.
Items brought into the site are to be cleaned/disinfected upon entry.
Everything that is delivered should 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
To make a monetary donation to the BSF COVID-19 Appeal:
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