We understand this is a time of great uncertainty for all of our residents, family members and friends of Bethany.  We are all impacted by COVID-19 in some way. To keep you informed on our approach to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we will be updating this site regularly.

Please see the following FAQs or click on the buttons in the following section for specific site information.

Visit our site pages for current outbreak status updates.

COVID-19 FAQs

Last Updated: NOVEMBER 25, 2020

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

Over the last month, Alberta Health has been consulting with residents, employees and families in continuing care facilities to find a balance between keeping residents safe and allowing increased visitation and connection with loved ones. Effective July 23, under the orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will be shifting from a “restricted access” to a “safe access” approach. Bethany will be creating a local visitor policy specific to its site after consulting with residents, family and employees. We will provide further details as we develop these plans. Please check back regularly for ongoing updates.

Communication with residents and families

Can I visit with my loved one?

We understand you may be anxious to visit your loved one and know they are looking forward to seeing you as well. We are complying with new visitation orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, with some modifications. As always, our main focus and priority are to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our sites.

Alberta Health has been consulting with residents, employees and families in continuing care centres to find a balance between keeping resident’s safe and allowing increased visitation and connection with loved ones. Effective July 23, under the orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will be shifting from a “restricted access” to a “safe access” approach. We have created local visitor policies specific to each site after consulting with residents, family and employees. Details of these new visitation guidelines will be posted on the individual site pages of your Bethany location.

An overview of our general visitation guidelines is below.

You can review the visitation guidelines for sites here. We ask that you carefully review the process for scheduling a visit, as well as the steps we are taking to ensure all of our residents remain safe, which remains our highest priority.

IMPORTANT: Please note that if a site is declared to be in confirmed outbreak, all visitation will be suspended.

How will Bethany communicate with families through this pandemic?

Please refer to this website for frequent updates. This FAQs page will be updated with the most current information on our policies and protocols, and we will also send updates through our social media. Our Site Administrators and their teams are proactively reaching out to families by phone and email to ensure they have the information and resources they need, particularly in the event of a major change in our protocols or policies.

We will also send updates through our social media.
Facebook: @bethanyseniors
Twitter: @BethanyCare
Instagram: @bethany_care_society

How will outbreaks be communicated to families?

We will be notifying families if there is an outbreak at their loved one’s site to keep families informed during this time. Please ensure your Site Administrator has your up-to-date contact information including phone number and email address to ensure you receive that type of communication.

How can I stay in touch with a loved one?

As our entry restrictions remain in place, and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future, we continue to encourage you to use alternative methods of communication to stay in contact with your relatives, such as telephone, FaceTime or Skype. We will be doing everything possible we can to accommodate this from a technology perspective.

General Visitation

Is Bethany allowing visitors to its sites?

Under the directive of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer and Alberta Health, we have revised our visitation guidelines to allow the following, within the specific guidelines of each of our sites:

  • Indoor visitation with designated family/support persons ONLY at this time — all visitors must pass the screening questionnaire including temperature check and wear site-provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times. Visits are not permitted at Bethany sites in confirmed outbreak
  • Currently outdoor visitation is not allowed at this time.
  • Imminent end of life visitation — we are committed to providing a quality end–of-life for our residents and the opportunity for their loved ones to see them. Imminent end-of-life will be determined by site management in consultation with the attending physician and is defined as the last 4-6 weeks of life. Visitors who are Non-Designated family/support persons may be permitted to visit indoors in the resident’s room under these circumstances

Are there any exceptions to the visitation guidelines?

While each Bethany care centre has specific guidelines for visitation, the following exceptions apply to all Bethany sites:

  • We are currently not permitting indoor social visits for those who are not designated family/support persons. We will reassess this in the future depending on regular site risk tolerance assessments
  • Pets that accompany a designated essential visitor are permitted provided they meet our Bethany pet policy requirements. Contact your Site Administrator for further information

How do I become a designated essential visitor?

According to the CMOH order, a designated family/support person is an individual designated by the resident, guardian or other alternate decision-maker. They must be identified and communicated to the Site Administrator before commencing visitation.

How do indoor and outdoor visits work?

Each Bethany care centre has site-specific arrangements based on its risk tolerance assessment which examines such factors as layout, available space, resident health status, and active Covid cases in the community. The following apply to ALL Bethany sites for the safety and wellbeing of our residents:

  • For indoor visitation in a designated space, two designated family/support person visitors are allowed, plus the resident (group of three total)
  • Currently, outdoor visitation is not allowed at this time.
  • For outdoor visitation, a maximum of 5 are permitted (four plus the resident); the designated family/support person is not required to be present
  • Residents residing in a site currently under confirmed outbreak and/or on individual isolation precautions are not permitted visitors
  • There is appropriate environmental cleaning of visitation areas
  • All visitors are screened and must wear site-provided appropriate PPE
  • Residents perform hand hygiene before and after visits and wear appropriate PPE
  • Visitors and residents follow guidance on safe physical distancing (minimum of 2 metres)
  • Visitors breaching guidelines including physical distancing may have future visits suspended. Residents may also be required to enter 14-day isolation and be swab tested
  • Inclement weather or limited staffing resources may result in Bethany cancelling outdoor scheduled visits

Where do indoor visits take place?

  •  In a resident’s room, shared care area (designated family/support persons only) or in designated spaces for visits

Where do outdoor visits take place?

  • Currently, outdoor visitation is not allowed at this time.

Can I bring food or beverages for my loved one during our outdoor visit?

Yes. All food must be labelled with the resident’s name and the drop-off date. If you would like to enjoy a treat while visiting with your loved one outdoors, this is acceptable as long as the food provided aligns with the resident’s care plan-ordered diet.

How often can I visit my loved one?

Each Bethany site determines the number of outdoor visitation appointments that can be managed on a daily/weekly basis.

For ALL Bethany sites, outdoor visits are:

  • scheduled in advance
  • on a first-come, first-served basis – with the visitor then placed at the bottom of the list to allow others to visit their loved ones
  • based on the resident’s care plan (if visitation does not align with the care plan, a meeting will be scheduled with the Site Administrator for their review)

Due to resource issues, some sites may not be able to accommodate outdoor visitation as well as a virtual visit within the same week.

End of Life Visitation

Can more than one family member visit a loved one who is at the end of life?

For residents in private rooms, where we can assure physical distancing, three visitors at a time are allowed to see a loved one at imminent end of life.

For those in semi-private rooms, because adequate social distancing cannot be maintained, the three visitors may need to take turns visiting inside the room.

How do end-of-life visits work?

We understand this is a very difficult time for families. To ensure quality end of life for your loved one, and also the safety and wellbeing of other residents and employees, the following guidelines apply to all Bethany sites.

  • 3 visitors will be permitted to visit residents in private resident rooms only where we can assure the required 2 meter physical distancing. All visits must be pre-arranged with your Site Administrator
  • Visitors are screened, must wash hands and wear site-provided PPE, including continuous masking — instructions for donning and doffing will be provided
  • Visitors must go directly to their loved one’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit
  • No visiting with other residents is permitted

How do I set up an end-of-life visit?

Please contact your Site Administrator to discuss setting an imminent end-of-life visit.

Keeping our residents and employees safe

What measures is Bethany taking?

In addition to the strict restrictions in regards to site entry, Bethany has implemented enhanced environmental protocols.

Bethany has enacted its pandemic plan and business continuity protocols. We 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.

Is Bethany operating standard social distancing practices between residents?

Social distancing practices are in place. Residents that share a room will maintain a distance of two metres. During meal times, only two residents are permitted at each table.

Are group recreational activities still taking place?

Group recreational activities will continue for asymptomatic residents, however, they will be limited to five or fewer residents. Social distancing best practices will be in place during these activities.

Can I take my loved one home?

If you would like to take your loved one home, please discuss with your Site Administrator and we will assess on a case by case basis.

Is Bethany restricting residents from leaving its sites?

Not at this time.

Will residents be required to be screened if they leave and re-enter the site?

Yes. ALL entering and re-entering residents MUST be screened each time they enter the site through temperature checks AND a questionnaire.

Can I still come and collect my loved one’s laundry?

For families that collect laundry, please reach out to your Site Administrator to discuss your options.

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

We are working hard to ensure there are enough employees to continue to provide the very best resident care.

ALL entering and re-entering employees MUST be screened each time they enter the site through temperature checks AND a questionnaire. According to myhealth.alberta.ca, an adult with a temperature above 38.0°C is considered a fever. If the employee’s temperature reading is 38.1°C or higher, they will NOT BE permitted to enter the site.

Any employee who is symptomatic will refrain from coming to work and self-isolate for 14 days.

Monitoring, status and best practices

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bethany sites?

Currently, we have 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bethany Riverview (2 employees and 2 residents) and Bethany Calgary (9 employees and 5 residents). All residents, family members and employees of the impacted site have been notified. Please visit our site specific pages for further details.

Please visit our site specific pages for further details.

For information on the location of outbreaks in acute care or continuing care facilities in Alberta, click here.

Where do I find the status of a specific Bethany site?

Please see the site updates at the top of the page.

What happens if a resident becomes symptomatic?

We are closely following our outbreak management protocols and policies; including isolation precautions for affected residents.

Will residents be transferred to hospitals during the pandemic?

Transfer to emergency departments and hospital admissions will be discussed with the hospital physicians to ensure the best care can be provided in a timely manner. We are also using community paramedics and other resources to access care that would otherwise have been provided in hospital. Medical care will be provided at the long-term care home for those who develop symptoms of COVID-19 and you will be updated regularly on their medical condition.

If you have any other questions, please contact your Site Administrator.

For general COVID-19 updates, please refer to the links below:
Alberta Government website
Canadian Government website
World Health Organization website