From Alberta’s Premier
“Your efforts and tremendous sacrifices have so far succeeded in containing the spread of the virus far below the devastating scale of the outbreak in many other places…”
From Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
“I am grateful for the collective efforts and sacrifices of Albertans that have built a barrier between our communities and what could have been an overwhelming surge of cases…I want to stress that the fight against this virus is far from over…we must continue to work together to manage risk, use common sense and remain vigilant to contain this virus. We are all in this together.”
Cases continue to spread in Alberta; expect the first wave to peak soon.
There are still confirmed cases in the Bow Valley area; we do not know who or where they are, but they are not in a BVRH facility. If a BVRH lodge resident or employee is diagnosed with Covid-19, we will let everyone know how we are managing it, and every one of us would be tested quickly to limit the spread.
Phase 1 of the provincial reopening plan started in most parts of the province today.
Despite the tentative reopening measures starting today, all seniors home should expect to be under significant restrictions for many more months as a result of the public health measures that have changed our lives.
We have begun to offer limited opportunities for outdoor visits with your designated visitor, but more on this in a bit.
First, please understand that every action we take over the coming months must be carefully considered and managed to continue to keep catastrophe at bay. You, our seniors are the most vulnerable to this crisis; older Canadians living in seniors homes account for the vast majority of the nearly 3,300 tragic deaths this country has experienced in less than two months. I personally don’t believe that those of us who work and live in seniors housing will be able to go back to normal until a vaccine has been widely distributed.
That being said, we are learning to adapt, and we are finalizing plans to facilitate outdoor visits between you and your designated visitors. We began to implement these plans this week, and once the rest of the required equipment arrives we will finalize the program implementation. We are creating outdoor spaces that will respect the safety measures that are still required by law to keep you safe but enable you to socialize with some of your nearest and dearest people. Access will be quite limited; the program will be managed so that everyone benefits from it.
Please keep in mind that BVRH and AHS recognize that you, our seniors, require the strongest safeguards to protect you from the virus. As the rest of Alberta begins to slowly relax the public health measures, I expect that those which safeguard you will be the slowest to change. We will closely monitor and consider how the rest of society fares before making changes. Your continued patience and cooperation is required for us all to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally, together.
I’ll echo Dr. Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health: I want to stress that the fight against this virus is far from over. Alberta’s relaunch strategy is the next phase in our collective efforts to protect each other. We must continue to work together to manage risk, use common sense and remain vigilant to contain this virus. Each stage of our relaunch will be advanced after careful consideration.
As the rest of the province slowly reopens, please understand that is a risky, but necessary experiment that will help the government decide how to proceed. Seniors housing will remain safeguarded so that the experiment can teach the authorities lessons on how to proceed while still protecting the most vulnerable people. We’ll stay safe while we learn the lessons from those who succeed and those who fail.
SAFETY RULES ARE STILL IN EFFECT, INCLUDING:
Residents may not leave the lodge except for essential (health and safety) reasons. This means you can go to essential medical appointments. Please continue to arrange for the delivery of things you need. Use the designated outdoor spaces for fresh air and exercise when the weather allows it. Please note that anyone who stays out overnight (in the hospital for example) will then have to remain isolated in their rooms for 14 days under observation upon their return. Failure to respect these rules will severely jeopardize your residency with BVRH.
Exercise physical distancing at all times. Even in the lodge, you must stay at least 6 feet or 2 meters apart when interacting with others – it will help save lives and bring a quicker end to this difficult situation. One person in the elevator at a time. Please, though, do connect with others, whether in the lodge or by phone, outdoor visits, etc.
Only one person can be in the resident laundry rooms at any one time.
If you feel even slightly unwell, please call our administration team to let us know and then stay in your suite. We will serve you there. This is a legal requirement.
REMEMBER to wash your hands before you leave your suite and after you return to it, and to sanitize your hands well before entering and leaving the dining room.
All lodge residents, employees and essential workers are being screened for Covid-19 on a daily basis. Even essential workers are not permitted to enter the lodge if the screening turns anything up.
Unfortunately, we are not able to bring hair dressers in yet, hopefully they will be allowed in during Phase 2 of the reopening. At the same time, you will not be able to leave to go to the hairdressers, because it is not considered medically essential.
We are talking to the province about license and vehicle registration renewals. Please note that Service Alberta has extended the deadlines, and you should call them for more details if you have a renewal coming up.
INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE TO ALL RESIDENTS:
Staff members and Home Care workers are wearing masks that keep us from sharing our germs with you. We aren’t sick; we are being very careful for your sake.
We are here trying to help you with meals, cleaning and disinfection. I know this is hard for all of us to one degree or another. Please treat everyone accordingly; be your best; exercise more patience, kindness and cooperation. Failure to do so will jeopardize your residency with BVRH. Thank you to the majority of lodge residents who have been kind, patient, thankful and cooperative; people like you make a huge difference for all of us!
Our early and ongoing preparations and efforts have paid off so far; we have successfully held what would have been an absolute tragedy at bay. Let’s keep up the hard but amazing work to keep our facilities virus-free!