Bethany Didsbury Updates

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health, has announced new public health restrictions to further protect residents in continuing care sites from COVID-19.

Please note that Outbreak Status will be updated on regular business days. If you have questions or concerns outside this time, please contact your Site Administrator or Care Services Manager.

Effective December 24, 2021:

Given the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, which has now become the dominant variant in Alberta, the Chief Medical Officer of Health introduced some additional measures on December 23, 2021. The following measures are being implemented at Bethany sites effective immediately:

1. Residents returning from an absence of greater than 24 hours* and asymptomatic fully immunized residents who have recently been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be required to wear a surgical/procedure mask for 14 days while in common areas, except when eating and drinking, and will be actively screened for symptoms daily.

• Rapid testing on days 1, 3 and 7 post-return or post-exposure will be provided.
• Quarantine requirements for asymptomatic residents who are not fully immunized who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will remain the same.

*During this time of rapid community spread of Omicron, we are encouraging families to carefully consider the elevated risk of taking their loved ones out of the care centre on a pass.

2. Visiting persons may use their own seal-checked KN-95 mask. If they do not have one, a well fitted surgical/procedure mask is required and will be provided by Bethany site staff on arrival. We will be asking that each visitor apply a new KN-95 mask, or a Bethany-supplied surgical/procedure mask, in front of the screener at the entrance. Information on how to seal-check a KN-95 mask will be provided at the screening desk.

3. Additionally, updated screening and rapid testing processes for staff are being implemented to further protect against the Omicron variant entering our sites.

All continuing care facility visitors will be required to wear a mask in all indoor areas including resident rooms. The only exception will be if there are significant communication challenges, in which case adaptations will be permitted.

Additionally, residents being admitted to a facility from acute care or returning from a hospital stay of longer than 24 hours must be quarantined temporarily when they return to their continuing care home, with quarantine lasting until they receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Dr. Hinshaw strongly encourages families and friends who are not fully vaccinated to refrain from visiting continuing care sites in person and to stay connected through virtual visits.

In addition to complying with these new public health orders and to best protect our residents and employees, Bethany will be implementing a Proof of Vaccination program. We will require all designated support persons and visitors to either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to be permitted entry to our facilities, beginning Monday, October 25, 2021.

How will the Proof of Vaccination program work?

When you arrive at a Bethany site, you will be asked to show your ID and proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours to the screening staff to be permitted entry into a Bethany facility. For appointed designated support persons only, Bethany can provide a rapid test on-site prior to entry each visiting day. The test takes around 15-20 minutes to provide a result and only those with a negative result will be permitted entry.  Please note that the Proof of Vaccination program does not apply to end-of-life visitation.

For visitors unable to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or a medical exemption, we will support outdoor and virtual visits. Children taking part in outdoor visits will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

In order to meet these new requirements, Bethany Didsbury is encouraging visiting during times where we can best support your visits to the care centre with the least amount of disruption to you and your loved one.


What You Need to Bring to Show Proof of Vaccination or Medical Exemption

You can obtain your vaccination record from Alberta Covid Records prior to visiting. We will be set up to scan your vaccination QR code starting Monday. We will also accept a picture or a paper record of valid COVID-19 vaccination records until November 15th, at which time QR codes will become the only accepted proof of vaccination per Government of Alberta requirement. Proof of a medical exemption must be in the form of an original signed letter from a physician or a nurse practitioner.

What You Need to Bring to Show Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test

You will need to show a privately obtained negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before entering our site. Many community pharmacies offer this service. Please do not bring completed rapid self-tests to the sites as these pose a transmission risk.

We will continue to adhere to public health orders and additional guidance from Dr. Hinshaw in the weeks ahead, and will consult with our Resident Family Councils in four weeks to assess our Proof of Vaccination program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Site Administrator or Care Services Manager.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

All visitors will continue to be screened on entry.

Enhanced cleaning three times daily is in effect for common spaces and resident rooms.

Should an outbreak occur, we will continue to follow strict outbreak protocols and implement select quarantine/isolation requirements when needed. We will update impacted residents and families as required.

IMPORTANT: Please note that if this site goes into outbreak, visitation will be reviewed.

We know you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of your loved ones. We are too. As always, we are diligently following protocols and working closely with our public health bodies and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to ensure that we are acting on the most current information and public health recommendations.

You may also directly reach out to your Site Administrator with questions and concerns:

Site Administrator: Joan Smyth

For smartphone users, please scroll the table for the site outbreak status.

You may notice that we are using some different terms to report COVID-19 status at our sites. Please note: we are posting the same information, but the language for the various categories has been updated as per Alberta Health Services directives. We have been advised that these changes will help facilitate a swift response and provide an early indicator of possible positive testing. See the revised definitions further down this page.

JANUARY 27, 2022

The numbers of positive cases will change as employees complete self-isolating or recover and are able to return to work, and as residents recover. Where there is a new case noted for either an employee or resident, we will identify that case as “new” on the first day it is posted, after which time it will be rolled into our ongoing numbers.

Definition of terms:

(Revised January 10, 2022 as per Alberta Health Services)

Note that Public Health determines whether a unit or site meets the criteria to be declared in an outbreak. A unit that is under investigation means that Public Health are investigating suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases on the unit (residents and/or staff) but the unit has not been declared an outbreak by Public Health.

The above information reflects COVID-19 cases confirmed by laboratory testing linked to the site. Delays to testing in the province may impact the timeliness of the information.

A COVID-19 outbreak is defined as:

  • Two or more residents and/or employees who are confirmed to have COVID-19 within a 14-day period OR cases are linked to the same location or caregiver where there is reasonable evidence that transmission could have occurred.
  • Employees must have worked at the site during the time they were infectious OR likely to have acquired the infection at work.
  • NOTE: A single resident/employee case linked to the site does NOT meet the definition for a facility outbreak. These sites will be deemed “SITE UNDER INVESTIGATION”.

A site under investigation is defined as:

  • At least one resident or employee who exhibits any of the symptoms of COVID-19. This includes sites with only one (1) resident/employee confirmed to have COVID-19.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Bonnie Elgie