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May 11 Update from our COO: Changes to Provincial Directives

Hello everyone,

While case counts in Ontario remain high and Alberta continues to escalate, I am glad to share that we continue to have zero COVID-19 outbreaks at Seasons Retirement Communities this week.

Update for Ontario

As many of you may know, changes to Directive #3 were issued last week, detailing new protocols for retirement homes that achieve a combined, full vaccination rate among staff and residents of 70%. The directive states that operators must have policies and procedures in place that are compliant and guided by the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) and the RHRA. We are amending our existing policies and procedures now. The directive is not in effect until the provincial lockdown has been lifted.

In the meantime, we are studying the true penetration rate of our fully vaccinated staff and residents. To be clear, “fully vaccinated” is defined as two weeks post one’s second dose of the vaccine. The fact is, we still have many retirement home staff and residents who have not yet been granted access to the second dose of the vaccine by their local Public Health Unit.

Seasons is very eager to move forward with changes that afford our residents more freedoms safely. Changes will be rolled out as the provincial lockdown is lifted and as allowed by the new vaccination penetration benchmark set by the government. We will continue to keep you updated about our progress and what this means for your Seasons Retirement Community specifically.

As I noted last week, rapid testing of Seasons team members is working well, and in some Seasons homes has been extended to Designated Essential Visitors (DEV). You will be informed when your Seasons community will begin to offer this. If you are a DEV who is not fully vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to participate in the rapid testing. This dramatically improves our ability to keep COVID-19 out of our homes.

Effective yesterday, provincial directives for screening retirement community visitors are changing, and we will no longer need to take temperatures before entry.

Ontario remains in a strict stay-at-home order, which strongly discourages travel outside of one’s region. When considering a visit to Seasons, please review the current provincial guidelines for all Ontarians, as well as the policies and procedures under the ‘Grey (Lockdown) or Shutdown’ column in the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority’s Scenario Matrix, found here.

Update for Alberta

Effective yesterday, as per CMOH 16, there is an increase in Designated Essential Visitors from 2 to 4 per resident. We have updated our Visitor Policy to reflect these changes which can be found on Cubigo or available in hard copy should you require.

As of May 5, the provincial government advised that additional restrictions will apply in certain hot spot areas with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people and at least 30 active cases. These restrictions remain in place for at least three weeks, even if a community moves below the threshold and extended if necessary. Many Seasons Alberta communities are impacted by this, including:

  • Camrose
  • High River
  • Lethbridge
  • Ponoka
  • Olds
  • Wetaskiwin

If you are a family member living in any hot spot location, and especially if you are not fully vaccinated, please reconsider whether a visit to a Seasons location is essential at this time. For a complete list of affected communities, visit their website.

Thank you to our staff, residents and families for being cautious and for continuing to follow our enhanced infection prevention and control protocols. The collective health of our retirement community members relies on your cooperation. Whether you live or work with us at Seasons, our number one priority is your health and safety.

Sincerely,

LeighAnne Voll
Chief Operating Officer,
Seasons Retirement Communities

For additional online resources for COVID-19 you can visit the following sites:

Canada Health
Alberta Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Ontario
Retirement Home Regulatory Authority