The following COVID-19 updates are from the office of Shawn Terlson, President & CEO.

April 7, 2020

Shepherd’s Care Foundation has received confirmation of three additional COVID-19 positive cases in the senior’s rental apartments attached to Kensington Village care home.  As of this writing we do not have any COVID-19 positive cases in our long term care and supportive care  areas of the Village. This brings the total confirmed cases up to 11 residents in the seniors rental apartments and condos.

 We also are aware of four staff members in home care services that were in contact with individuals in the independent rental apartments, and two Alberta Health Services case managers who have tested positive for COVID-19 . Our ongoing disclosure will always be updated immediately on our FAQ page at www.shepherdscare.org/covid-19/faq/.

With our move yesterday to isolate all residents at Kensington Village, and with staff at that facility mandated to wear personal protective equipment at all times, we expect the incidence of new cases to decrease.

Like most health care providers, we are always looking for additional supplies of personal protective equipment. We are in need of masks, face shields, and gowns. If you or anyone you know has access to these items, we would be extremely grateful for a donation. Every little bit helps. As a charitable organization, we will issue a tax receipt for your donation.

April 6, 2020

Shepherd’s Care Foundation has received confirmation of two additional COVID-19 positive cases in the senior’s rental apartments at Kensington Village. This brings the total confirmed cases up to 8 residents and 1 staff member who was providing home care to renters. We are also aware of two other staff and one Alberta Health Services case manager who have tested positive. 

We know that the best way to slow down he virus is to reduce contact. As a result, we have made the decision to instruct all residents at Kensington Village to self-isolate for at least the next 14 days. A letter went out to all residents today; families can read the letter here. Residents who are not under quarantine are still permitted to use the laundry, grocery, and mail facilities, and are strongly encouraged to wash their hands vigorously before and after. We have increased cleaning in high-touch areas using 1-minute kill products.

During this time, we will not be permitting any external visitors to our Kensington Site. Deliveries of food, medication, and personal items will be accepted at the main doors and delivered by our staff. Any residents who have any questions are asked to please call 780-447-3840. Our food service partner will still be delivering meals and may be able to help with groceries; they can be reached at 780-733-3308.

Any residents who are experiencing symptoms are instructed to call 811 and also to let us know at 780-447-3840.

If you have any further questions, please consult our FAQ for independent rentals here or email us at info@shepherdscare.org.

We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, and we appreciate your prayers. In these difficult times we are uplifted by the words found in Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

April 4, 2020

Our swift and decisive actions to contain the spread of COIVD-19 have been noticed by the media. CBC did a detailed interview with us and their story highlights what we have done and continue to do to keep our residents and staff safe. You can read the article here.

Over the past few days we have increased screening at our independent senior’s rental buildings and reduced visitors. We are also working with the condo boards at our independent senior’s condo buildings to ensure they are enforcing public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. In our care facilities, we have invested in increased cleaning using 1-minute kill products in all high-touch areas and continue to enforce our no visitors policy.

Late yesterday, we received notification of two additional COVID-19 positive cases at our Kensington Village facility, both in senior’s rental apartments. One of the individuals has been in isolation since March 16 and was connected to our first case. The second was a new arrival who moved in on March 20. We subsequently suspended all new move-ins on March 27, so this potential weak link in our defence system has been closed. Our increased screening with temperature check discovered a health care aide of ours who presented with a fever on April 1, and was subsequently sent into isolation. We received news late yesterday that this individual has also tested positive for COVID-19.

Our President & CEO, Shawn Terlson, explains these new cases in detail and our response to them:

March 31, 2020

Yesterday, in the AHS update it was incorrectly reported that there were two additional cases at Kensington Village for a total of 6. We have confirmed with AHS that this was not correct, at this time there are no additional confirmed cases in any Shepherd’s Care sites beyond the 4 cases already disclosed. 

March 27, 2020

Our President & CEO, Shawn Terlson, has a video message for all of our residents, families, staff, and stakeholders to address the increased measures we are taking to protect our staff and residents.

March 25, 2020

Our President & CEO, Shawn Terlson, has a video message for all of our residents, families, staff, and stakeholders.

March 23, 2020

 As everyone is aware, Shepherd’s Care is closely monitoring and reviewing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation in the province and as it affects us at Shepherd’s Care Foundation. COVID-19 can cause serious respiratory illness. Because it is a new virus with no treatment or immunity in people, it is critical for people with symptoms to stay home and away from others to keep it from spreading.

 We were notified today of a resident in our independent living who tested positive for COVID-19. While this is not welcome news, this is not unexpected with the current pandemic. My team and I have been preparing for this possibility for weeks and we have acted swiftly to contain it.

 Shepherd’s Care Foundation, with the support of Alberta Health Services Public Health has placed the entire Kensington Campus of Care on Respiratory Outbreak protocol.  Our priority and concern is for the well being of our residents and staff. We are confident that the measures being put in place support the well being of all.

 Effective immediately:

  • Kensington Village Wellness, Long Term Care, Designated Supportive Living, and independent living are closed to all visitors.
  • We have taken additional measures to prevent gatherings of more than 10 people, including closing our staff break rooms.
  • Our restaurants at Kensington and Heritage Gardens are closed, except to residents for delivery service.
  • We have implemented further restrictions on visitors to our independent living residents, and restricted movement between buildings on our campuses.

March 21, 2020

 We have implemented the order from Dr. Hinshaw, Medical Officer of Health, with respect to enhanced security measures for long-term care. These include the following new policies:

  • Visitors are now restricted one essential visitor designated by the resident or guardian;
  • Essential visitors must undergo and pass health screening;
  • All facilities are required to have security or staff placed at entrances for visitor screening.

 You can read the order in full here.

 If you have any questions about this new policy, please email us at info@shepherdscare.org. In addition to these, we have implemented the following additional measures:

  •  Our FAQ is live – please visit shepherdscare.org/covid-19/faq/ as this will have the most current information on our response to COVID-19.
  • Hairdressing services have been suspended for two weeks, at which point we will reassess.
  • All events have been cancelled and we have implemented multiple seatings in our dining rooms to ensure social distancing.
  • We are reaching out to all our families to ensure we have up to date contact information for ongoing communications and updates.
  • Our Treats n’ Treasures Thrift Store will be closed indefinitely.

March 18, 2020

We continue to monitor the developing situation with COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our residents, staff, and volunteers. We will also be proactively reaching out to families to ensure we have your most current contact information and let you know about our website updates on COVID-19.

  • Staffing levels are being monitored carefully and we have implemented a number of directives to ensure we have contingency plans in place to manage capacity. These include reaching out to contract and recently retired employees.
  • We have added a dedicated centralized webpage for COVID-19 information and we will be adding an FAQ tomorrow.
  • Following the advice of Dr. Hinshaw, staff that are able to work from home will do so.
  • Protocol is in place to immediately swab and test any residents and staff that display respiratory symptoms.

March 17, 2020 Update:

 

At Shepherd’s Care Foundation, the health and safety of our residents, staff and stakeholders is our top priority. We are holding ourselves accountable to continue providing quality care and quality accommodations to our beloved residents during this pandemic crisis. Our Emergency Operations Centre and Site Incident Command team continue to meet each day to collect and disseminate information.

Alberta Updates

  • The State of Emergency announced by the Premier yesterday provides additional flexibility for health employers like Shepherd’s Care to ensure we can continue to deliver care during this pandemic.
  • The Ministry of Health has released guidelines on “essential visitors” to facilities like ours, which includes those providing care and companionship for the well being of residents including end of life care. The Visitor Procedures announced on March 16 remain in effect.
  • Gatherings of people are to be limited to 10 people or under, and where possible everyone is encouraged to continue to self-isolate and practice 2 metre social distancing.

Resident Care

  • We are ensuring that all residents have access to Skype or Facetime to communicate with families and friends who are unable to visit at this time.  All our staff have iPads and computers available that they can utilize to assist residents.
  • Shepherd’s Care has restricted non-essential visits at all our facilities and enforces this by having all entrances locked 24/7. Our reception and frontline clinical staff are screening all visitors including contractors for respiratory symptoms.
  • Alberta Health Services is finalizing processes and guidance to enable on-site testing for clients/residents in Long Term Care, Designated Supportive Living and Home Care settings. All testing will be done outside of acute care hospitals unless absolutely necessary.
  • Our staff have been proactive in communicating risks including return from international travel, respiratory symptoms, and any potential exposure.
  • We are monitoring information on our workforce and tracking number of staff who are self isolating/quarantined and who have respiratory symptoms. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment is being stocked and sourced to ensure sufficient supply at all of our sites.

Events

  • Rehab, recreation and pastoral programming will continue at all sites with limitations on group size to 10 or less.
  • Hairdressing services will continue with restrictions to number of residents based on maintaining 2 metre distance and non-residents prohibited.
  • Admissions to all sites continuing.

Stay up to Date

Our Strategic Leadership Team is monitoring this worldwide situation on a daily basis. We will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available. For immediate updates pertaining to Shepherd’s Care operations, follow us on  Facebook and Twitter.

Links

Read our Blog Post:  8 Ways to Help Seniors and Vulnerable Populations 

Learn more about the current COVID-19 situation in Alberta.

Coronavirus Awareness Resources for Canadians

 

March 16, 2020:

At Shepherd’s Care Foundation, the health and safety of our residents, staff and stakeholders is our top priority. We are holding ourselves accountable to continue providing quality care and quality accommodations to our beloved residents during this pandemic crisis. As such, the following precautions are currently in place:

Visitor Procedures

  • Only  visitors, contractors, volunteers and staff with essential business at our facilities will be able to enter our sites.
  • Upon entering, individuals will be screened for illness and must complete a disclosure form.
  • All staff, volunteers and contractors who have recently traveled outside of Canada are asked to self-quarantine for 14-days and are not to visit at any of our sites.
  • Anyone who presents signs of illness at our sites will be sent home.
  • If you are visiting a family member in palliative care, you will be asked to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).  Please consult with the charge nurse prior to visiting.
  • Anyone who does enter our sites is urged to join us in practicing heightened hand hygiene, cover coughs and sneezes, and disinfect any used surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout our facilities.
  • All public dining rooms (Heritage Market Grill, Kensington Village Dining Room, Vanguard Dining Room) will be closed to the public. Only staff and on-site residents who are not showing signs of illness are permitted.
  • Corporate and administrative staff are limiting their direct contact with our residents. Staff may work between sites unless an outbreak is confirmed in our facilities.

Resident Care

  • Resident programming, with the exception of church services,  continues at this time. Group activities will be restricted to less than ten residents.
  • External outings are cancelled.
  • There will be more information about resident programming at our campuses in the coming days.
  • We are informing and educating staff on best practices for health and safety, including hygiene, cleaning procedures and personal protective equipment
  • Our partner, Aramark, is dedicated to the safety and well-being of their employees, and our residents,  and so they have instructed their staff to increase cleaning and sanitization on all touch-points using approved disinfectants, and to maintain sufficient supplies of cleaning, sanitization and PPE.

Events

  • Church services have been cancelled. More information to come.
  • Shepherd’s Care Foundation has cancelled or postponed large gatherings, group meetings and non-essential meetings. This includes our Executive Networking Luncheon, Volunteer Appreciation and 50th Anniversary Gala.
  • Our Mission Effectiveness Department is working with our preferred venues to secure new 2020 dates for Volunteer Appreciation and the Gala.

Stay up to Date

Our Strategic Leadership Team is monitoring this worldwide situation on a daily basis. We will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available. For immediate updates pertaining to Shepherd’s Care operations, follow us on  Facebook and Twitter.

Links

Read our Blog Post:  8 Ways to Help Seniors and Vulnerable Populations 

Learn more about the current COVID-19 situation in Alberta.

Coronavirus Awareness Resources for Canadians