News – COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are committed to ensuring that all clients and families feel supported and informed by us at Carewest.

See updated CMOH recommendations for visitor restrictions, below:

Updated visitor restrictions - Oct. 30, 2020

UPDATE: Residents and clients in continuing care represent some of the most vulnerable populations if exposed to COVID-19, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure their safety.  Based on the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Calgary Zone, the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Alberta communicated updated visitor access recommendations for continuing care that will impact visitation for Carewest residents and clients and families.

Effective immediately, visitation at Carewest will be limited to only the two designated family/support persons (and others, in extenuating circumstances, such as end of life) per resident or client. Please note, designated family/support persons may not be under the age of 18. Further visitor restrictions may apply for sites that are on outbreak.

This decision was made in conjunction with our sites’ Risk Tolerance Assessments, which take into consideration perception of risk, the site configuration, ability to maintain physical distancing and number of COVID-19 cases in the community. To assist us in gauging your perception of risk and your own personal level of risk tolerance, we are inviting residents, clients and family members to answer the Carewest Risk Tolerance Assessment survey, online by clicking this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CWVisits2020

Social visitors who have visits booked after today’s date may be asked to postpone their visits. Carewest will assist visitors in doing this by reaching out to anyone who has a social visit booked after today’s date that requires cancellation.

Carewest will continue to support designated family/support persons in all Safe Visiting Practices (see tab, below), as they are essential to maintaining residents’ and clients’ mental and physical health. However, please take the time to re-evaluate, based on the needs of your loved one, whether your physical presence is required at the site, or whether virtual visits might suffice during this time. This may help us reduce/limit the number of people visiting within the sites and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

All practices related to health screening, temperature checks, continuous masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette still apply and have not changed. They are detailed in the Safe Visiting At Carewest document. Please ensure you are familiar with this document before visiting the site.

We will be re-evaluating our site’s risk tolerance regularly and will reassess visitation after COVID-19 cases begin trending downward in the Calgary Zone. Thank you for your support and shared commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 within our care centres.

Background: (CMOH Order 29-2020)

READ: Letter from Dr. Hinshaw to residents/clients  in continuing care (Dec. 18, 2020)

READ: Letter from Dr. Hinshaw to families with loved ones in continuing care (Dec. 18, 2020)

Book your visit at Carewest

*Note – Visitor restrictions have changed. Please see information under Updated Visitor Restrictions Tab, above!

Current active cases of COVID-19 at Carewest

Carewest Site Staff: Active Cases Clients: Active Cases
Dr. Vernon Fanning 0 0
Colonel Belcher 3 5
George Boyack 1 1
Glenmore Park 3 2
Sarcee 2 (Unit 3) 1 (Unit 3)
Garrison Green 0 0
Signal Pointe 1 0
Royal Park 0 0
Rouleau Manor 0 0
Nickle House 0 0
C3 Beddington 1 1
This table was last updated Jan. 25, 2021 at 5 p.m. Please note that all staff who are ill are self-isolating at home and clients who are ill are isolating in their rooms.

We continue to work vigilantly to ensure all Carewest sites are operating safely, and with the health of clients at the focus of all we do in these trying times. We have been doing and will continue to do all we can to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 at all Carewest facilities. We will continue to keep you and your loved ones informed as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to take the Facility Base Continuing Care Review – Survey for public, continuing care residents, families, staff and other stakeholders.

Click here to take the University of Alberta survey How has COVID-19 Affected Alberta Family Caregivers

Here is what we're doing to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our care centres
  • Care staff are restricted to working at one site only, to prevent the transmission of the virus between facilities. This is happening across the province.
  • All staff working in client care areas or who cannot maintain the two metres required for physical distancing are required to wear a procedure mask and eye protection while at work.
  • IP&C measures have been implemented including (but not limited to) social distancing in the dining room, isolation of ill clients, outbreak signage posted, strict hand hygiene, restriction of visitors, and cancellation of group activities. Restrictions on admissions and transfers are in place. Rigorous cleaning of high-touch areas like light switches, doorknobs and handrails has been implemented.
  • All residents with any symptoms of illness are isolated to their rooms. Staff caring for them wear contact/droplet PPE and change that PPE between rooms.
  • All staff, physicians, essential visitors and contractors are screened for symptoms of illness by having their temperature checked upon arrival to the care centre and required to answer a questionnaire. Clients are also screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check.
  • We have restricted visitation to only those who are attending to loved ones in the end of life or those providing essential care that cannot be provided by staff or quality-of-life visitation.

Click here to see the most up-to-date numbers of cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

Continuous masking and eye protection

December 2020 update on continuous eye protection: The Government of Alberta released new recommendations for continuous masking in health care settings, which will apply to Carewest staff, physicians and contracted service providers.

Continuous eye protection is now mandatory, alongside masking in all indoor workplaces, except when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or an appropriate barrier is in place. This does not apply to visitors, however continuous masking does still apply for that group.

Continuous eye protection is required continuously for all care providers, food services staff, housekeeping, unit clerks, physical plant services, pharmacy staff and anyone coming within 2 metres of a resident, client or staff member while providing hands-on care, meal delivery, housekeeping, at a unit clerk desk, performing tasks on clinical units, therapy interventions, etc.

Eye protection may be removed when leaving clinical units (unless accompanying clients) and in non-clinical spaces such as breakrooms, cafeterias and office or administrative spaces. If there is a client interaction within these non-clinical spaces that is closer than 2 metres, eye protection should be worn. Masks are to be worn continuously except for eating and drinking in spaces two metres apart from clients, coworkers or visitors.

Please note: It is not a requirement that clients wear a eye protection or a mask but procedure masks should be worn by clients exhibiting respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness (ILI), if they are cooperative and able to safely put on and take off a mask. Staff, clients, contractors and essential visitors are required to wear the procedure masks supplied by Carewest. Non-medical or homemade face masks cannot be worn by visitors, staff or clients in Carewest facilities. Also please note this does not change requirements to self-isolate when sick and that no one with symptoms of illness should come to Carewest facilities.

Click here to see a poster we developed for staff about how to safely put on and take off a procedure mask. Not all points in this poster apply to visitors but we wanted to share the applicable knowledge.

Temperature checks and enhanced screening

Essential visitors, health-care staff, phyisicans and contracted service providers across Alberta will be screened for COVID-19 at the start of every shift – that new process starting at Carewest on March 26, 2020. All employees, physicians, contractors or visitors entering a Carewest facility will have their temperature taken and be asked to fill out a questionnaire and anyone found to have a fever or who has symptoms will be sent home and told to self-isolate.

Carewest will be allocating regulated nurses or designate to conduct the screening at the site entrances. The assigned regulated nurses or designates will also be able to answer questions regarding the screening process, discuss results of the screening or next steps. Screening staff will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to conduct these activities. If the screening results in one or more screening criteria not met the regulated nurses will review in detail and make an assessment whether the person is fit for work or visit the site, based on the screening criteria. Any staff or visitors who refuse to be screened will not be permitted access to the site.

The screening criteria is as follows:

  • You must have a temperature below 38ᵒC;
  • You must not be experiencing any symptoms (even mild ones) of cough, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and sore throat;
  • You must not have returned to Canada from another country within the past 14 days;
  • You must answer several questions coming in close contact with someone exhibiting influenza-like illness or who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Responsible VisitingPhysical distancingTips

Continuing Care settings pose challenges due to their unique environments and the individuals they serve. Particularly for older individuals and those with respiratory, cardiac or multiple chronic conditions, the risks of more severe symptoms and death from COVID-19 are greater. Special steps must be taken to prevent disease transmission when considering the movement of clients or residents, visitors and staff into and within the facilities.The safety of our clients and staff is of utmost importance. If you are deemed an essential visitor, please postpone your visit if:

  • If you were traveling in the last two weeks and haven’t self-isolated for the mandator 14-day period.
  • If you are feeling unwell.
  • If you have been in close contact (within two metres) with someone who has been traveling and/or feeling unwell.

Ask yourself these questions to determine if you should visit today.

Physical distancing will slow the progression of the spread of COVID-19, thus spreading the need of health resources over a longer period of time. Taiwan has been successful in this, while most other countries have been too slow to respond.

This virus is predicted to occur in 70% of the entire population, because no one has immunity. The key is slowing the spread down so that health resources are not taxed beyond their ability to help. Once health resources are overwhelmed, the death rate begins to climb. The elderly, immuno-compromised and those with significant chronic lung and heart disease are the most at risk of complications. We need to act quickly to slow the progression of spread.

Please see Alberta’s Mass Gathering Recommendations.

The COVID-19 virus can survive 1 to 9 days on surfaces, depending on the type of item (e.g. tin cans – 1 day, plastics – 1-3 days, cotton or cloth items – up to 9 days).

  • Washing all items brought in from public areas is important. As for fruits or vegetables, wash them when you bring them home.
  • High-touch areas need much more frequent cleaning. Light switches, door knobs, phones, computer accessories, toilets, sink faucets, handrails, buttons, chair arms, remote controls.
  • Measures that help include washing your hands, forgoing handshakes, coughing into your arm, staying home when you are sick and avoiding crowded areas.
  • International travel remains the greatest contact risk in Canada, but that is quickly now including attending any public events of 50 or more persons, domestic/Canada travel, attending work conferences. Stay home if you can.
  • All persons that can work from home are being asked to work from home.
  • Self-isolate at home, if you develop symptoms: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, muscle aches or pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Contact Health Link at 811 (public) if you have symptoms, and particularly with international travel. You can also use the new self-assessment tool from Alberta Health Services.

We will endeavour to keep you informed as we receive more information. Check back regularly, as this page will be updated often.

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