As we move further into fall, we all have a role in staying healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please read through this entire bulletin and discuss it with those closest to you.
Cases of Covid-19 are climbing steadily, with nearly 1,800 confirmed cases in Alberta, including one each in Canmore and Banff. The number of active cases now is much higher than the 60 that existed when the states of emergency were originally declared last March. Since studies show that there are about five undiagnosed cases for every diagnosed one, we can assume that there are about a dozen cases in the Valley right now. Tragically 280 Albertans have died, most of whom were seniors.
We are all tired of Covid-19, but we still have a lot of work to do. Stay the course! We can do this if we all work together. Keep washing and sanitizing your hands, wearing a mask when you can, avoiding crowds, watching your distance from others and staying in when sick. We can beat this virus if we work together and protect each other.
Instead of a new society-wide lockdown the provincial strategy requires every Albertan to do everything we can to reduce the spread. Seniors’ must still be vigilant, due to the deadly threat they face, but the authorities are trying to balance the risks to both your mental and physical health. We are not locked down, but we must act responsibly. Do not leave your suite if you feel sick; wash and or sanitize your hands often; wear a mask if you can; stay apart from others and avoid sick people and crowded places. Remember that most infected people do not recognize that they have it, which is why it is so important that every one of us always practices excellent disease prevention. You are responsible for your safety, and to do your best to safeguard your neighbours. Meanwhile, we will continue to maintain the precautions that the law allows, including measures such as enhanced disinfection.
So far BVRH tenants have remained safe from the disease. We have all made sacrifices over the past months to keep our loved ones and our communities safe – and it has made a huge difference. Let’s not lose our perfect record; please stop and think of the risk that you may expose your fellow residents to before you go out unnecessarily, or walk around without a mask or without washing your hands, or if you don’t tell anybody if you feel even a little unwell.
Key Messages from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
• It is imperative that seniors remain vigilant in their actions to protect themselves and others around them from Covid-19. People over 60 years of age and those with certain pre-existing health conditions are the most at risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19, especially when they live in close proximity as occurs in apartment buildings.
• Tests for Covid-19 can only detect the virus at the time of the swab collection and provide only a point in time result. Someone with a negative test result may still go on to develop Covid-19 during the incubation period of 14 days after exposure.
• The intent of these expectations is to help ensure that seniors and other vulnerable individuals living and working in these congregate settings are kept as physically safe as possible, mitigating the severe risks of Covid-19, as well as other infections. Your obligations during the pandemic
• As per Alberta Health, it is imperative that residents remain vigilant in their actions to protect themselves and others around them from Covid-19. Residents remain at extremely high risk for severe outcomes, including death, if they are infected with Covid-19.
• Consistently do the following to protect yourself and others:
o Wash or sanitize your hands before leaving, and after returning to your suite.
o Sanitize your hands before entering the elevator, the dining room and the lodge entrance areas. Avoid touching your face.
o Wear a mask when out of your suite if you can. Cover coughs and sneezes.
o Avoid crowds, busy public places, sick people and stay 2m apart from others.
o Do not lean in close to people, do not touch, hug or shake hands with others.
o Stay in your suite if you do not feel well – and let us know immediately. Check yourself daily for symptoms of Covid-19 including fever, headache, cough, etc.
o Do not visit with people who are sick. Your loved ones and support people must stay away from you and others if they feel sick or have any symptoms at all.
o Connect with people regularly in safer ways – on the phone, use technology (we can help with that!), chat from a distance and do not forget handwritten cards!
o Check yourself for any sign of symptoms every day and call 8-1-1 and stay in your apartment if you notice any at all. Please call 403-678-5922 to let us know if you test positive for Covid-19 so that we can do more to help.
• Do not go out unless it is truly necessary. We all miss the normal world where we can do as we please, but things are not normal; there is still a very clear and present danger to your safety and that of your neighbours.
• Avoid high risk activities, such as:
o Sharing food, drinks or utensils with others, even loved ones.
o Sharing equipment, such as exercise machines, craft supplies, books and puzzles.
o Close-range conversations with others, even loved ones.
o Direct physical contact or touches, including hugs and handholding with others, even loved ones sadly.
What BVRH is doing to help:
As you may know, BVRH is not a healthcare organization, but we know all too well that seniors are much more vulnerable to the negative effects of viruses.
PRECAUTIONS BEING TAKEN
Currently, the following measures have already or are now coming on-line in our Seniors- self-contained buildings, effective immediately.
• BVRH has installed and is maintaining hand sanitizer dispensers and area disinfection stations in our senior’s buildings.
• We are also disinfecting frequently touched objects in the common areas of our senior’s buildings at least two times every day. Please do your part to reduce the chance of picking up the virus in the common areas by washing or sanitizing your hands before you leave your apartment, immediately after returning to it and before getting onto an elevator.
• Please read and follow the Covid-19 related safety rules in your laundry room.
• We have reopened the common rooms in the buildings subject to some remaining restrictions. Please note that these areas may be closed again if there has been any known exposure to a positive Covid-19 case or further government direction.
• It is now a legal requirement for all Albertans who show symptoms or feel unwell to self-isolate in their homes immediately. Also call 8-1-1, or speak to Homecare if you are a client, and talk to your friends/families or doctors about getting medical attention.
• Only one person can be in a resident laundry room or elevator at any one time.
• When entering the common rooms remember:
o Do not enter or congregate with others if you fell at all unwell or have even slight symptoms.
o You are responsible to disinfect the area and items used before and after use.
o The kitchen and exercise equipment are off-limits due to the continued high risk of using them.
o Do not leave personal items in the area when you leave, we will have to dispose of them otherwise to reduce the chance of cross-contamination.
Our early and ongoing preparations and efforts have continued to pay 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 – we need your help, please think about this when you are thinking about going out.
Going forward we will only use special bulletins when there are big changes or news to announce, in the meantime please stay tuned to our monthly bulletins for regular updates.
Please get the influenza vaccine this year if you can do so safely. Health authorities are asking everyone to get it as it can help reduce the impact of the pandemic on our healthcare systems. There are several informative posters attached for you.
Thank you and stay well.