Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.

Pope Francis

COVID-19 Information

Families are an important part of the care team, and we are striving to keep you informed and connected to your family members during this time. As you can appreciate, we are in a time of evolving information and frequently changing guidance for residents, families and staff. We recognize that these changes can be difficult, but our teams remain committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care for the residents in our care.

Individuals over 60 years of age and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19. To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, among seniors and vulnerable groups, the following guidelines are currently in place. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit Alberta Health Services.

Safe visitation related to Order 29-2020 beginning July 23, 2020

The Chief Medical Officer of Health released public health Order 29-2020, which provides new visitation guidelines designed to enhance the quality of life for residents. While we fully support this order and welcome the positive benefits it may have, we know that residents continue to be among the most vulnerable to severe effects of COVID-19. The new order is complex and has many components. Over time, as we have had to deal with outbreaks at our sites and increased cases of COVID-19 in the community, the specific details of our visitation practices have varied, but the basics of Order 29-2020 remain the same.

Designated family/support persons

Each resident or alternate decision maker may designate up to two adults who are essential

  • These individuals are essential for residents’ physical and mental health.
  • Designated support people must be verified by the site and provide photo identification at screening.
  • Two people may be designated, but they may not always be able or allowed to visit at the same time.

Visitors when there are extenuating circumstances (up to three visitors may be permitted — please discuss this with your site):

  • End of life (last four to six weeks, except in hospice)
  • Change in health status (due to medical/social/spiritual crisis)
  • Pressing circumstances (including financial or legal matters, family crisis)

Hospice visitors

  • Hospice patients will be able to have visitors immediately upon admission.

Outdoor visits

  • Outdoor visits may still occur, depending on weather conditions. Please confer with your site to arrange the visit.

Pets

  • Pets will be allowed for outdoor and indoor visits. Please co-ordinate the visit with the appropriate unit manager.

Food and gifts

  • Family and friends will be allowed to bring food from outside to the residents. Food must be brought in a container that can be wiped down. At this time, visitors are not allowed to eat or drink during visits.*
  • Family and friends will be allowed to bring gifts for residents. You can drop off a gift and have us deliver it, or you can deliver it yourself during a visit.*

*Please limit the number items you bring into the site as each additional item can pose an additional risk.

For more information, please talk to your site contact.

Stipulations for visits

There are several stipulations for visits that are important to know:

  • Visits must be coordinated with the sites. When the site is dealing with an outbreak, they may need to cancel or limit visits for a time until they are able to ensure they can provide the appropriate support for visits.
  • Designated family/support people must be verified by the site and provide photo identification at screening.
  • Visitors must read and follow Covenant Health’s Safe Visits policy and adhere to all of the site’s safe visiting practices.
  • Visitors must determine their level of unknown risk to COVID-19 and disclose it to the resident or their alternate decision maker.
  • All indoor visitors will need to go through screening to enter the site. Outdoor visitors will require screening if the location does not allow for the required physical distancing.
  • All indoor visits will take place in residents’ rooms. You will not be permitted to visit other residents or visit in other areas, including the hallways.
  • Visitors must practice social distancing; everyone must be a minimum of six feet away from one another (unless from the same household).
  • Everyone involved in a visit must wear masks at all times.
  • Visitors and residents must practice proper hand hygiene using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before, during and after visits.
  • Site staff will support family/support persons and visitors in proper use of masks, hand hygiene and safe touch practices when you visit as well as the use of additional PPE where that may be indicated.

The order is meant to address residents’ quality of life and mental health. It is important for visitors to the site to assess the benefits of these changes for the residents and themselves in terms of physical health, safety and emotional well-being. While site staff are responsible for the safety of your family member and must do what they can to support their well-being, as you spend more time with them, you also have a responsibility for their safety. We are all responsible.

Risk tolerance assessment

Risk tolerance is the ability of a site, as an entity (collective of families, residents and staff), to accept increased potential exposure to COVID-19, to inform situations where restricted access may be necessary and where more visits (e.g., social) are desired. Risk tolerance will change over time and will depend on many factors, such as:

  • Building room types, residents’ health status and the risk tolerance of residents, families and staff. Risk tolerance will vary between sites and may change over time.

Phone and virtual visits

Please continue to connect with residents regularly by phone or virtually through Zoom, Skype or FaceTime in addition to in-person visits where possible. It is so important for families to hear each other’s voices.
Item pickup and drop-off

  • Essential items not provided by the sites, such as toothpaste, deodorant, Polydent, etc., will continue to be permitted to be dropped off.
  • Devices such as cell phones and tablets required for keeping in communication are encouraged. They will be disinfected prior to being delivered to residents.
  • Contact your site for details related to resident laundry.