Family Update April 9
As we near the Easter holiday weekend, we wanted to provide an update of our work to keep residents and staff safe. We are pleased to confirm there are no positive tests for COVID-19 among staff or residents. We implemented precautionary measures at our sites as quickly as we could and want to assure you that so far we are doing well, although we do miss seeing all our families.
We also want to take this opportunity to provide an update about a recent Directive from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta dated April 2, 2020. Dr. Hinshaw has publicly recognized that seniors in LTC and SL homes are among the most vulnerable to the transmission of Covid-19 and therefore to help protect them even further she ordered additional measures be taken which we are implementing.
In the Directive new outbreak standards were identified to which we are adhering. This order will be in place until further notice. These standards call for close monitoring of residents for symptoms of Covid-19 which we are doing. Staff have been informed to immediately report new developments of fever, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, and runny nose. In addition Dr. Hinshaw has added two new symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea to our monitoring list. Should any of these symptoms be detected, staff will immediately place a Resident on isolation and obtain and send a swab specimen to the lab to help us determine if the specimen is positive for Influenza, GI, or COVID-19. These quick actions will help prevent the transmission of any virus to others.
Important to note is that the updated standards also require earlier notification to families, staff and residents of not just a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, but also suspected or probable cases. The definitions for these scenarios are:
Suspected COVID-19 outbreak:
One resident or staff member is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19. All staff are notified of a suspected outbreak. Individuals will have been placed on isolation and tests taken but results are not yet known.
Probable COVID-19 outbreak:
Two or more individuals (staff or residents) who are in close proximity or linked with each other and who are showing any of the symptoms of COVID-19. All residents, families and staff are notified if there is a probable outbreak, and we would confirm all additional measures we are taking. Again the individuals will have been placed on isolation and tests taken but results not yet known.
Confirmed COVID-19 outbreak:
One individual (resident or staff) who is confirmed to have COVID-19. All residents, families and staff are notified if there is an outbreak, and we would confirm all additional measures we are taking.
As mentioned, we will likely be providing you with more frequent notices should there be any probable cases among residents or staff. We want to stay in touch and let you know as quickly as possible, however until final results come, please do not panic. Our focus is and will continue to be the utmost safety of all our residents and staff. This remains our commitment to you.
Finally, we realize that the holidays this year will be different for everyone, however from our St. Michael’s family to yours, whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, Ramadan later this month or enjoying a long weekend, we wish you all the best as you stay at home, stay safe and stay healthy.
We understand all these actions have a tremendous impact on the day-to-day lives of our Residents and you – their families. However it is essential that as many measures as possible be put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Any comments can be directed to our Social Worker, Rosaly Palchevskaya who can be reached at 780-472-4535. We remain committed to keeping you informed as the situation changes.