Dear Optima Living Team Members, Residents, and Families:
I am delighted to provide the following update on behalf of the entire Optima Living Family.
On October 2nd, we discovered that one of the care partners tested COVID-positive at Century Park in Vegreville, Alberta. Yesterday, we received the final test results that there has been no transmission of the virus to any residents or care partners. All residents and staff have been tested multiple times and each time results showed that they were COVID-free. In addition, the care partner is recovering well, for which we are grateful.
Special thanks to Century Park Site Manager Vishu Kaur for her amazing leadership and the entire Pro Vita team around her who everyday support Century Park. Other people and groups who deserve our sincere thanks include Yvette Elmquist, Regional Director of Quality Care, who went directly into the site for a few days providing assistance, and Pro Vita and the rest of the Optima Living Support Services and Operations team members. Thank you to everyone for your efforts in protecting our residents and those who care for them.
When Century Park was informed in early October that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19, the team under Vishu’s leadership immediately started to put in place the pandemic plan that AHS had reviewed and approved beforehand. Over the past few weeks, Century Park worked tirelessly with AHS to use best-practice/evidence-based guidelines for COVID-19 outbreak prevention, control and management.
We have reached out to offer emotional support to the care partner who was diagnosed and continue to be in regular contact to ensure this person is recovering well.
Vishu, and both the on and off-site teams, did an amazing job. It has been incredibly special to see care partners step up and provide remarkable care to residents when they needed it the most.
As winter approaches, a reminder that guidelines already put in place last March will continue, such as staff wearing personal protective equipment when caring for residents and screening residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms. This was the first case of COVID-19 in any of our communities and a great reminder to follow our infection control guidelines and to be prepared.
Thank you. Be safe. Be well.
Farid Damji | Co-Founder & Principal
• Up to two visitors at a time may visit residents in Long-Term Care, Supportive Living, and other Congregate Living Settings.
• Each visitor must be verified and be on a list provided by the resident. They will undergo a health screening prior to entering the community. This may include a temperature check or a questionnaire.
• Visits must occur in the resident’s room, great room or outdoor patio when arranged with the site staff.
• Visitors must be feeling well and not displaying any symptoms at the time of visit and ensure they have cleared all of the questions on the questionnaire.
• Visitors must comply with any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements which includes wearing a medical grade mask available on site, maintain social distancing of 2 meters or 6 feet and use hand sanitizer before and following visiting. No physical contact is permitted.
For all visitors:
• You will be screened for signs and symptoms of illness, including COVID-19 and possible exposure to COVID-19, prior to every visit.
• You will need to bring a mask and wear it for the duration of your visit.
• Please practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough/sneeze etiquette), and maintain two-metres of physical distance where possible.
Essential Visits at Long-term and Acute Care Communities
The essential visitor policy remains in effect at long-term care and acute care communities. Essential visits are:
• Visits for compassionate care such as critical illness, hospice care, end of life and Medical Assistance in Dying.
• Communication assistance, and supported decision-making for people with disabilities or cognitive impairment.
• Visits essential to patient/client care and well-being including: Assistance with feeding, mobility, and personal care and existing registered volunteers providing services as described.
Unlike social visits, essential visits may not need to be scheduled in advance. A client can have more than one essential visitor but only one visitor is allowed at a time*. (*More than one visitor during a visit may be allowed for palliative and end-of-life care.)
As per the provincial guidance, all visitors are required to: wear a mask, practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough and sneeze etiquette), and maintain a two-metre physical distance where possible.
If there is no active COVID-19 outbreak at the community, a resident may visit with one designated visitor.
(*We can approve a change to the designated visitor under extenuating circumstances; for example, if the visitor moves away or becomes ill and is unable to visit).
• Book the visit in advance with staff.
• Be screened on every visit for respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19. Visitors with symptoms are not permitted to enter the community.
• Wear a mask, practice hand and respiratory hygiene (cough and sneeze etiquette) and maintain a two-metre physical distance where possible.
• Socialize in designated visiting areas which may include, outdoor and indoor spaces, as well as single client rooms for those with limited mobility.
Join our Q&A Sessions on Zoom
For Strathcona County, the most authoritative news source is strathcona.ca/covid19. There, you’ll find all of the latest news on the development of the virus, as well as details of the latest action taken against it within Strathcona County.
For the latest news, updates, and resources:
- • Strathcona County Emergency Advisory Committee, click here.
- • Alberta Health Services, click here. This includes a great self assessment tool.
- • Government of Alberta, click here.
- • How the Government of Canada is handling matters, click here.
- • World Health Organization, click here.
- • To tour museums all around the world, click here.
- • To check out digital concerts and plays, click here.
- • Travel the world from your own couch by clicking here.
Emergency Financial Assistance
In the case of unexpected emergencies, the province of Alberta has infrastructure designed to provide temporary financial help for food, child care, transportation, accommodation, and more. Check alberta.ca or call 1-866-644-5135 to see if you qualify.
At this time, all Strathcona County transit routes remain operational. They also offer a Mobility Bus service for those who, due to a physical or functional limitation, cannot use the fixed-route service. For more information on transit, click here or call 780-449-9680.
People of all ages seek counselling for any number of reasons. The Strathcona County counselling team includes psychologists and clinical social workers that are happy to talk to you. Call 780-464-4044 with any issue you would like to discuss.
The Alberta Government has established a program called Text4Hope. If you are feeling stress, anxiety, or depression due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they can help. This free service will provide three months of daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy–based text messages written by mental health therapists. Simply text COVID19HOPE to 393939 to subscribe. Click here for more information.
The Solutions Navigation team can help you find your way through life’s issues, including ones pertinent to today’s unusual circumstances. Give them a call at 780-464-4044. For any issue you may have, such as access to food, pharmaceuticals, or social isolation, get in touch with the Navigators. They are always happy to help.
Crisis Contact Numbers
The complete list of crisis contact numbers—including Alberta Health Services and the Strathcona County Elder Abuse Line—is listed on the Strathcona County website. Click here to see them.
If you know a senior who may be isolated, reach out to them. Click here for tips and information about social isolation and how to prevent it.
These may be trying times, but the team at Aster Gardens truly believes in the strength of the Strathcona County community. We know that, if we work together, we will overcome this and any other challenge that gets thrown our way. We’re on your side.
Get in touch with us any time for any questions you may have.