We understand that COVID-19 impacts our residents, family members and friends of Bethany. To keep you informed, we will be updating this site monthly, or as circumstances change.

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

Latest Update: MAY 20, 2022

March 1, 2022

The Government of Alberta has announced that most COVID-19 health measures in the province are no longer in effect as of March 1, except for certain high-risk locations such as health care settings.

It is important to note that all existing COVID-19 health measures remain in place in Bethany’s continuing care sites. This includes continuous masking in all indoor areas, enhanced cleaning, health screening on entry and proof of vaccination requirements.

The provincial government also announced that changes to measures for continuing care will be communicated as part of phase three of the reopening plan. The timing of phase three will be determined based on declining hospitalizations.

We will continue to monitor protocols and adjust our approach as the situation evolves.

The following measures are currently in place at Bethany care centres:

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.

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, screening and rapid testing processes for staff are in place to further protect against the virus entering our sites.

All continuing care facility visitors are required to wear continuously wear 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 public health orders and to best protect our residents and employees, Bethany has implemented 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.

How does 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.

Bethany sites encourage 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. Please refer to your site’s website to see the visiting hours recommended for your site.

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. We will also accept a picture or a paper record of valid COVID-19 vaccination records. 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 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, and regularly consult with our Resident Family Councils to assess our Proof of Vaccination program.

To keep our residents and employees safe, the following measures remain in place at Bethany sites:

  • Three times daily high-touch cleaning is in place for common areas.
  • Outbreak procedures must be followed.

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

Thank you for your understanding and support.

IMPORTANT: Please note that if a site goes into outbreak, visitation will be reviewed, and restrictions may be implemented as per the direction of the Medical Officer of Health.

Communication with residents and families

How will Bethany communicate with families through this pandemic?

Please refer to this website for regular updates. This FAQs page will be updated with the most current information on our policies and protocols. 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 notify families if there is an outbreak at their loved one’s site. Please ensure your Site Administrator has your up-to-date contact information including phone number and email address to ensure you receive communication.

Keeping our residents and employees safe

What measures is Bethany taking?

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. These new measures will take effect Monday, October 25, 2021.

Starting Monday, 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 encouraged 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 sites will be 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. Please refer to your site’s website to see the visiting hours recommended for your site.

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.

To keep our residents and employees safe, the following measures are still in place at Bethany sites:

  • Three times daily high-touch cleaning is in place for common areas
  • Single-site staffing requirements continue
  • Outbreak procedures must be followed

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

Thank you for your understanding and support.

What isolation and quarantine requirements remain in place for residents?

Residents who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for 10 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. Residents who are close contacts of a person with COVID-19 may be required to isolate depending on their vaccination status, in line with requirements outlined in CMOH Order 37-2020.

Additionally, effective Monday, October 25, 2021:

Residents being admitted to a facility (i.e., from acute care or the community) and/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.

How should people coming to Bethany to work, or visit assess their risk of COVID-19?

Please refer to FAQs main page regarding visitation guidelines.

Considerations include:

  • Adherence to all provincial CMOH orders
  • Employment risk (i.e., working from home is lower risk than working with others)
  • Transportation risk (i.e., driving alone is a lower risk, taking public transit is higher risk)
  • Travel risk (i.e., return from international travel is a higher risk, even when exempted from quarantine)

Are group recreational activities still taking place?

Group recreational activities have resumed. We continue to encourage social distancing best practices 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?

No, residents are not restricted from leaving sites.

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

No, residents are not required to be screened leaving or entering the site.

Can I collect my loved one’s laundry?

Yes. Family members are welcome to collect and do loved one’s laundry.

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

All Bethany employees, contractors, students and volunteers must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 31, 2021 and must complete health assessment screening when they enter the site.

Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will not return to work until cleared by public health and at the direction of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Medical Officer of Health.

DEFINITION OF OUTBREAK TERMS:
(Revised November 22, 2021 as per Alberta Health Services)

COVID-19 OUTBREAK
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”.

SITE UNDER INVESTIGATION
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.

Monitoring, status and best practices

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

There are confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 at CollegeSide Gardens and Bethany Didsbury.

All residents, family members and employees of the impacted site have been notified.

Please visit our site-specific pages for details.

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

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?

All residents requiring acute care will be transferred through regular processes.

What impact will provincial changes to COVID-19 testing have on Bethany residents?

Residents will be tested for COVID-19 in line with guidance from the Medical Officer of Health (MOH).

Vaccination information for residents and families

Vaccines are a critical way to limit the spread of COVID-19. They are effective and safe for protecting our health, as well as the health of family and community members. For more information, see Alberta Health COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

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

We’re social. Check out our social media channels.
Facebook: @bethanyseniors
Twitter: @BethanyCare
Instagram: @bethany_care_society

RESOURCES

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