Dear Valued Residents and Families,
This week, Nursing Homes across Canada have been in the news regarding COVID-19, as a Federal election has been announced. Many of the issues of COVID-19 that resulted in high infection and death rates of the elderly in long-term care homes became centre stage during the pandemic and election platforms. Alberta Health Services guided this province’s protocols to ensure long-term care facilities did not have the same consequences as Ontario and Quebec.
As of August 25, 2021, Alberta, has seen increased numbers of COVID-19 cases. The new numbers are in the unvaccinated persons and these people are being infected with the variant.
Those that have been vaccinated are protected to a certain degree against the variant however a vaccinated person can still be infected with COVID-19. As the number of variants becomes apparent, we still need to be cautious to prevent the spread.
Some good news today. We are fortunate to have received notification from Alberta Health that a third dose of the Moderna vaccine is available for all our residents of Venta Care Centre. We are planning to administer these doses on Thursday and Friday of this week before the long weekend. We require family consent before we can administer. Please complete the attached ‘Consent for COVID-19 Immunization’ form and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1600 hrs on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021.
Venta Care Centre is taking other proactive measures to protect this vulnerable population. To keep our residents, staff, and families/ visitors safe, we are implementing the following immediately:
- All visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entering the facility. Proof of documentation to be submitted to the Front Desk by Friday, September 3rd, 2021.
- Visitors who provide proof of dual vaccination status will receive a Vaccine Confirmation card from Venta Care Centre that they carry with them and show the Front Desk when coming to visit.
- If you do not provide Venta with proof of vaccination status by the deadline set, you will be limited to window visits and/or Skype/ Phone calls. These visits/ calls can be arranged by contacting the Recreation Department at (780) 377-4412.
- Beginning Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 all staff and visitors will be required to wear a face shield along with face mask in all areas of the facility. Removal of mask or shield will be not tolerated.
- If you are unvaccinated, you will be limited to window visits or Skype/ Phone calls only with your loved one.
Venta Care Centre would like to take the opportunity to share with our residents and families all the proactive measures, interventions, and planning we put in place since January of 2020. Please refer to the attached is Appendix A – “Weekly Update from Venta Care Centre – April 17, 2020” for an overview of what we have done to protect our residents, staff, and their families.
Through our various interventions, Venta Care Centre was able to remain COVID-free until November 16, 2020. On this day we discovered, through weekly swabbing, some asymptomatic residents who tested positive. We were then placed on” OUTBREAK”, a status that required more protocols to follow to ensure that the cases did not spread throughout the facility. The good news was, that these residents if they showed any symptoms, they were mild in nature. These residents were then resolved by day 21. We were deemed COVID-free by the end of January 2021 which was a milestone for a very short Outbreak duration.
We were one of the first facilities chosen to provide vaccinations for all residents beginning December 27th, 2020. Staff was also eligible for vaccinations beginning in January of 2021, through Alberta Health Services. During these times, Venta Care Centre was subject to numerous inspections by Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Health to ensure compliance with all Medical Orders. Working as a team we were recognized by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health for outstanding effort and organization to protect our Residents and Staff during the Pandemic.
Spring of 2021 brought new relaxations of Medical Orders from the Alberta Government and the reintroduction of Visitation in Long Term Care. As families are a valuable asset in the mental and emotional health of residents, we welcomed them back to the facility. Now, as September 2021 begins, the news around Alberta is worrisome as the number of cases is approaching 1000 a day. These are numbers that we witnessed back in May of 2021. As our vulnerable population has many health issues this is a new concern, as many new residents and their families are not vaccinated.
Communal living requires an abundance of caution and participation from all who enter the Facility. The unknown factor in this Pandemic has been the asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. This presents a significant risk for our Residents and their families who are vaccinated but more importantly our staff who are vaccinated who could get infected and then be unable to come to work to provide care. Venta Care The Centre has received concerns from many families and would like to have all visitors in the facility wear masks continuously and those who are not vaccinated wear a mask and a shield, as extra protection.
CMOH has indicated that a visitor can remove their mask in the Residents room, however, Venta Care The Centre would ask that visitors remain masked at all times during their visit. There is a responsibility to do your part and let all our Health Care Workers continue to provide the best service and care to your loved ones.
Starting September 6, 2021, all staff are required to have weekly Rapid Testing. Staff who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will be required to wear a mask and face shield continuously in all areas of the building and have regular rapid testing performed.
Residents- New Admissions
Beginning Tuesday, September 7, 2021, we will be offering virtual tours of rooms for all families and residents. All new admissions or readmissions will be required to have Rapid Testing and residents’ symptoms monitored every shift.
We want to thank you for your dedication and thank residents and families for their patience.
“We are all in this together and together we can get through this.”