As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are committed to ensuring that all clients and families feel supported and informed by us at Carewest. Currently, Carewest Glenmore Park and Carewest Sarcee are on COVID Outbreak. We understand and appreciate that this news may cause concern. Please be assured: we have been doing and will continue to do all we can to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 at all Carewest facilities.
To protect the privacy of individuals experiencing illness, we do not release any case-specific information. However, 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 will continue to keep you and your loved ones informed as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 25, 2020 update on temperature checks and enhanced screening: Health-care staff 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.
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 on or after March 13, 2020 and haven’t self-isolated for the 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 feeling unwell.
Social 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.
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.
From the onset of this situation, we have been listening to the appropriate sources for accurate and up-to-date information, and our preparedness plan reflects those inputs. As things evolve, we are actively monitoring and assessing risks, with a readiness to implement changes to ensure the highest level of safety. We will strive to continue to communicate with our staff, clients, families and the community in a timely and transparent way. Carewest is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria within the organization. You may have noticed some changes at our care centres, whether you are working here, living here, attending a day program or visiting loved ones. Here is what we are currently doing in that regard.
We will endeavour to keep you informed as we receive more information. Check back regularly, as this page will be updated often.