Last Updated: March 22, 2020

This FAQ will be updated continuously with the most current information and Shepherd’s Care policies and protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Please refer back to this page frequently.

COVID-19

COVID-19

How will Shepherd’s Care communicate with families through this pandemic?

Please refer to www.shepherdscare.org/covid-19 for periodic updates from our President and CEO. This FAQ will always be updated with the most current information on our policies and protocols, and we will also send updates through our Facebook and Twitter channels. We will also be proactively reaching out to families by email and text message to ensure they have the information and resources they need, particularly in the event of a major change in our protocols or policies.

Is Shepherd’s Care restricting entry to its sites?

Given the extreme risk posed by COVID-19 to our residents and staff, effective March 27, 2020, all Shepherd’s Care long-term care and supported living sites are closed to all visitors until further notice. 

Is Shepherd’s Care restricting residents from leaving its sites?

Our strong advice is that all residents must refrain from leaving the site in order to minimize resident and staff exposure.

Given the extreme risk posed to our staff and residents from COVID-19, effective March 27, 2020, any residents of our long term care or supportive living centres who leave our centres will be required to remain off site with their loved ones until the end of the  pandemic.

Our independent living residents are physically separated from our long term care and supported living residents and we have increased security at those sites to monitor visitors and ensure residents are abiding by public health guidelines. 

Effective April 6, 2020, all residents of independent senior’s rentals and condos at Kensington Village are required to remain in their suite for at least 14 days.

Can I take my loved one out for lunch or take them home?

Given the heightened risk of COVID-19 and the vulnerability of the population we serve, we are strongly advising you to not take your loved one out of the facility at this time. This has the possibility to exponentially increase community contact and exposure points and puts our residents and staff at risk.

Given the extreme risk posed to our staff and residents from COVID-19, effective March 27, 2020, any residents of our long term care or supportive living centres who leave our centres will be required to remain off site with their loved ones until the end of the  pandemic.

If you  still choose to take your loved one out of our site, the following will be mandatory:

  • Residents of supportive living and long term care who leave our facility will be required to remain off site until the end of the pandemic or as determined by our Senior Leadership Team.
  • We will require the family member assuming care of the resident to complete a risk acknowledgement form - you can download the form  here shortly.

If you wish to take your loved one home for an extended period please contact Alberta Health Services through the Continuing Care access by phoning 780-496-1300.

How do you make sure your employees aren’t coming to work sick?

Our employees are health care professionals and our expectations as outlined by Alberta Health are that any employee who is symptomatic will refrain from coming to work and self-isolate. Our HR department is working with employees and the measures announced by the federal and provincial governments to ensure that employees affected by self-isolation or childcare are able to cope.

All staff are screened upon entry each day, which includes the AHS health  professional screening questionnaire as well as a temperature check. Any staff who are working at other sites are mandated to change clothes and shower before entering our site.

 

Are volunteers permitted to attend sites?

Not at this time. Our sites remain closed to all external visitors and volunteers. However, we are always looking to connect with individuals who are interested in future  volunteering opportunities. Please see https://www.shepherdscare.org/get-involved/volunteer/ for more information.

Can I still come and collect my family member’s laundry?

For families that collect laundry, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of our in-house laundry service for a fee to minimize exposure. In the event you still wish to collect and clean your family member’s laundry, we will administer the AHS screening questionnaire and any other clinical screening measures deemed necessary, and if acceptable you may collect the laundry. Please reach out to the site manager to discuss your options.

Does Shepherd’s Care have any cases of COVID-19?

Shepherd’s Care long term care no confirmed cases at this time. We are aware of 10 residents in senior’s rental apartments and independently owned condos at our Kensington campus who have tested positive for COVID-19, and 1 from our Kensington Designated Supportive Living. We are also aware of 4 staff members and 2 Alberta Health Services case managers that have tested positive.

The first case was suspected on March 16, at which time 9 other individuals who were in contact with them were put into self-isolation. The second and third cases were from this contact group and have been in self-quarantine since March 16. The fourth confirmed positive case is another resident in the independent living at Kensington Village who self-isolated on March 18 when not feeling well. Public health has begun a trace back of these individuals and has commended Shepherd’s Care on our proactive isolation of these individuals.

The fifth individual was also exposed to the first and has been in isolation since March 16. This individual presented symptoms and was confirmed COVID-19 positive on April 3. The sixth individual was a new resident that moved in on March 20 and had previously been receiving home care services from a different provider. They were put into isolation on March 31 when symptomatic and was confirmed COVID-19 positive on April 3. We believe that a Health Care Aide contracted COVID-19 from this sixth individual. The Aide was put into isolation April 1 and was confirmed COVID-19 positive on April 3. All residents and staff that were exposed to these positive individuals were identified and put into isolation on April 3 and will be swabbed and monitored.

On April 6, 2020 we became aware of two additional COVID-19 positive residents at the  senior’s independent condos at Kensington Village, as well as two additional staff and one Alberta Health Services Case Manager who have tested positive for COVID-19. We will update as we have more information. 

On April 7, 2020 we became aware of two more cases at the  senior’s independent condos at Kensington Village and one more case worker. All of them are on isolation. We will update as we have more information. 

 

What other measures is Shepherd’s Care taking?

Shepherd’s Care has enacted its crisis management and business continuity protocols. We have a standing Emergency Operations Centre which meets at 8 AM each day and an afternoon debrief with each site Director/Manager. Our President & CEO and clinical staff are in constant communication with provincial health authorities and monitoring information from the federal government and the World Health Organization to ensure that we are acting on the most current information and public health recommendations.

In addition to these standing daily meetings, we have undertaken a number of other measures, including

  • All residents at Kensington Village senior’s apartments and condos under self-isolation effective April 6, 2020.
  • Visitors prohibited at our independent living facilities.
  • Enhanced enforcement to ensure compliance with internal protocols as well as public health directives on self-quarantine.
  • Treats n’  Treasures thrift shop closed indefinitely.
  • Hairdressing services suspended for minimum two weeks, effective March 20, 2020.
  • All routine and additional infection prevention and control practices were initiated immediately at our sites as outlined in our policies.
  • All symptomatic residents have been swabbed and we will continue to swab symptomatic residents for COVID-19 along with the seasonal influenza and respiratory viral assay.
  • Deliveries to our facilities will be dropped off at the front entrances and handled by SCF staff wherever possible to minimize external contacts.
  • All administrative staff who can work at home are provided the tools and resources to do so.
  • Dining room schedules are amended to accommodate multiple smaller seatings.
  • Dining rooms at independent senior’s rentals and condos closed. 
  • Enhanced cleaning with virucide cleaning solution at all our sites was initiated March 12, 2020 and will continue for the duration of the pandemic.

I have more questions specific to Shepherd’s Care’s handling of COVID-19.

Please direct all inquiries to info@shepherdscare.org. We respectfully ask that you refrain from calling, as our staff are focused on delivering care.

We will endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours, however due to the increased volume of e-mails the wait may be longer.

Are new residents being accepted during the pandemic?

Our care facilities (long term care, supportive living) are regulated by the provincial government and we are bound by our Master Service Agreement to continue to intake residents into our long term care and designated supportive living sites. All new intake residents are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and any personal items coming into the facility will be sanitized. We have suspended all new move-ins into our independent living apartments indefinitely for the duration of the pandemic.

UPDATE: All admissions into Kensington Village long term care and supportive living are suspended during the pandemic.

Are foot clinic appointments cancelled?

Yes, all foot clinic appointments have been cancelled indefinitely to reduce touch points into  our buildings. Once the outbreak is over we will be in touch to discuss resuming appointments.

Are you still permitting contractors into the buildings?

All non-essential contracting work has been cancelled. We do have some contracting that is needed to keep our buildings functional and has been deemed essential at this time. All contractors who enter our buildings undergo the same screening our staff does each day, and contractors are forbidden from interacting with residents.

How can I visit with my loved one?

We are using Zoom to allow our residents to have face-to-face calls with their loved ones. Zoom is easy to use, free, and works on all devices and operating systems. Families are required to set up a free account, and then all they have to do is arrange a time and let our staff know your Zoom ID. The full instructions can be found here.

You can also continue to use Skype, FaceTime, or arrange a time to visit on the phone.

How would I know if my loved one was exposed to COIVD-19?

When there is a positive case of COVID-19 identified, we proactively identify any staff or resident that was in contact with that individual going back two days before the COVID-19 positive individual became symptomatic. Those who were potentially exposed are asked to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for any symptoms. Full symptom list available on the Government of Alberta’s website here. If your loved one develops any of the symptoms, please call 811 and notify Shepherd’s Care immediately. 

Public health protocol is that only individuals who are symptomatic will be swabbed for COVID-19. Individuals who are on isolation because of a potential exposure who are not symptomatic will not be swabbed.

Can I get my loved on tested for COVID-19 now?

At the direction of AHS Public Health officials, we only administer the COVID-19 test to residents who present symptoms, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Full symptom list is available on the Government of Alberta’s website here.

The reason tests are not administered to asymptomatic residents is that, from a medical perspective, the test will only highlight the results from that moment in time. The test could return negative, and yet the person could display symptoms three days later and have a positive result from a new test. Constant testing without symptoms is not practical nor an efficient use of health resources.

What Shepherd’s Care wants to stress is that if a resident does display any of the symptoms listed above, we immediately follow strict protocols around that resident’s care as if they were positive, even if the results of their test take 24-48 hours to come back. In this way, we are doing our very best to keep everyone safe and provide them with appropriate medical care as soon as possible.