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.
Last Updated: July 3, 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.
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.
We will begin scheduling visits on Monday, May 11, 2020. Each site has specific guidelines for visitation due to differing layouts and the various needs of our residents. See our site pages for details or contact your Site Administrator for more information.
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 this site is declared to be in confirmed outbreak, all visits 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.
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.
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:
- Outdoor visits with designated essential visitors — designated essential visitors must pass AHS screening and wear site-provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Visits are not permitted at Bethany sites in confirmed outbreak.
- Imminent end of life visitation — we will be as compassionate as possible under the guidelines to provide 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 ID team. As per public health directives, “while it is difficult to be precise around when a resident is at the end of their life, in the context of COVID-19, visitation at end of life refers to the last two weeks of life.”
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:
- No designated essential visitors for “unmet care needs” — Bethany employees continue to meet all resident quality of life and care needs, including bathing and mealtime assistance
- Minor children as designated essential visitors — minor children are ONLY permitted to visit (i.e. at end of life and/or for outdoor visits) on an exceptional basis at the discretion of Site Administrators
- No off-property visits — there is significant risk to our residents here as we are unable to ensure proper safety measures during off-property visits
- Pets are not permitted as part of outdoor visitation
How do I become a designated essential visitor?
According to the CMOH order, a designated essential visitor is an individual designated by the resident, guardian or other alternate decision-maker.
How do outdoor visits work?
Each Bethany care centre has site-specific arrangements based on its layout, onsite outdoor space and available resources to facilitate visits.
The following apply to ALL Bethany sites for the safety and wellbeing of our residents:
- Visiting hours are set for when employee resources are available and not during busy care times
- One designated essential visitor is allowed, plus a second visitor approved by the designated essential visitor and the resident (group of three total)
- 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 distancing (minimum of 2 metres)
- Visits are monitored by site staff for safe distancing with exposure risks documented including any appropriate isolation or additional monitoring requirements
- Visitor’s breaching guidelines including social distancing may have future visits suspended. Residents will also be required to enter 14-day isolation and may be swab tested
- Inclement weather or limited staffing resources may result in Bethany cancelling scheduled visits
Where do outdoor visits take place?
- Spaces for visits are designated, marked and allow for proper social distancing
- Spaces do not require travel inside/through the building
- Residents and visitors must remain onsite (i.e. no community walks)
Can I bring food or beverages for my loved one during our outdoor visit?
Families are able to bring food to the designated drop-off at the site entrances. 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 careplan-ordered diet.
How often can I visit my loved one?
Each Bethany site determines the number of appointments that can be managed on a daily/weekly basis.
For ALL Bethany sites, visits are:
- 30 minutes in length
- 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 both a personal outdoor visit and 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, two 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, one visitor at a time is permitted.
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.
- Only designated essential visitors are allowed into sites
- 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 are escorted to their loved one’s room and remain there for the duration of the visit
- No visiting with other resident’s 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.
Are volunteers permitted to attend sites?
We are restricting access to ALL visitors including families, care givers and volunteers.
Monitoring, status and best practices
Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bethany sites?
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bethany sites. 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 or Volunteer Coordinator.