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.

Current active cases of COVID-19 at Carewest

Carewest Site Staff: Active Cases Clients: Active Cases
Dr. Vernon Fanning 0 0
Colonel Belcher 0 0
George Boyack 0 0
Glenmore Park 0 0
Sarcee 4 0
Garrison Green 0 0
Signal Pointe 0 0
Royal Park 0 0
Rouleau Manor 0 0
Nickle House 0 0
This table was last updated May 29, 2020 at 3:30 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.

Here is what we're doing to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our care centres
  • Plans are being confirmed so that care staff will be restricted to working at one site only, to prevent the transmission of the virus between facilities. This will be 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 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.

Updated visitor restrictions

April 30, 2020 update on visitor restrictions: Residents and clients of all continuing care sites continue to be some of the most vulnerable populations if exposed to COVID-19, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure their continued safety. However, this high level of risk does need to be balanced with the need to ensure a certain level of quality of life under these extreme circumstances, as communicated in the most recent Order from the Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding visitor guidelines. Applying the updated guidelines, click here to see Carewest’s current approach to visitor restrictions within our continuing care facilities.

Watch Video: Protecting our vulnerable seniors population

Residents of continuing care centres are at extreme risk if exposed to COVID-19, and staff are doing everything possible to ensure their safety. Given the increasing spread of COVID-19 in a number of continuing care facilities, we require that visitors complete the following:

  • All visits must be pre-arranged with staff at the care centre;
  • Visitors who are permitted under these exceptions must be verified and undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility. This may include a temperature check or a questionnaire. They will be escorted by staff to their family member’s room (or outdoor space) and must remain there; they are not permitted to visit other residents or move about within the site;
  • Visitors must wear a procedure mask (supplied by the site) for the duration fo their visit – indoors and outdoors;
  • Visitors must wear an Approved Visitor nametag;
  • Essential visitors must be immediate family or designated person;
  • Visitors must be feeling well on the day/time of their visit;
  • Must check in with unit staff before entering a resident’s or client’s room;
  • Sanitize their hands upon arrival to the care centre and before leaving;
  • Sanitize their hands before entering and after exiting a resident’s or client’s room;
  • Follow respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene procedures;
  • Visitors must observe all appropriate physical distancing guidelines of 2 metres between themselves and others.

Together, we continue to make these difficult decisions in order to keep our most vulnerable safe from illness. These measures, while necessary to protect our residents, clients and staff, will be extremely difficult for residents in our care centres. Reach out to your loved ones;  even spending just a few minutes on the phone can go a long way toward reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Continuous masking

April 11, 2020 update on continuous masking: Alberta Health Services released new recommendations for continuous masking in health care settings, which will apply to Carewest staff, physicians, contracted service providers and essential visitors.

The expectation for those providing direct care, working in client care areas or visiting client care areas is that:

  • People wear a procedure mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the workplace when involved in direct client contact or if adequate social distancing from clients, visitors and co-workers cannot be maintained.
  • Procedure masks be used in a sensible manner to help conserve supplies and ensure availability throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Masks are immediately change and safely disposed of whenever they are soiled or wet, whenever they may have become contaminated.
  • Individuals must dispose of their mask when taking a break, or eating a meal, and perform hand hygiene. Social distancing must be maintained and a new mask should be applied before returning to client care areas.

And for those who do not work in client care areas and do not have direct client contact:

  • Those who can perform their duties from home should do so to preserve PPE.
  • Individuals whose function must be performed in person do not need to wear a mask unless social distancing cannot be maintained or if entry into client care areas is required.

Please note: It is not a requirement that clients wear 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. Alsok 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.
Program closures
Effective immediately, the following programs will be closed: All Carewest Adult Day Programs (including YADS), Day Hospital, Living with Dementia and Comprehensive Community Care (C3). The C3 Clinic will remain open for urgent client assessment and treatment. Seating Clinic will restrict visits to essential appointments only.

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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