Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

William James

COVID 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 that 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 the residents continue to be among the most vulnerable to severe effects of COVID-19. The new order is complex and has many components. We are working hard to implement these changes in a timely and safe manner. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Due to the complexity of the order, we are taking a phased approach to ensure the safety of the residents, their families and visitors and our staff.

PHASE 1 – July 23, 2020 - TBD

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. 

Visitors when there are extenuating circumstances such as:

  • 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.

Outdoors Visits

  • Outdoor visits will continue as they are and where possible will attempt to accommodate an increase in the number of visitors allowed.

Pets

  • Pets will be allowed for outdoor and indoor visits per the Covenant Health policy.

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.

Phase 2 – TBD

Expanding visitation will be based on the site risk tolerance.


Stipulations for visits

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

  • Visits must be coordinated with the sites.
  • 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 in Phase 1 will take place in residents’ rooms.
  • 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.

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 we can to support their well-being, as family and friends 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 of exposure to COVID-19, to inform situations where restricted access may be necessary and where more visits (e.g. social) are desired. Risk tolerance is 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 pick-up and drop-off

  • Essential items not provided by the sites continues to be permitted to be dropped off, such as toothpaste, deodorant, Polydent, etc.
  • 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.