905-735-5333 Welland, Ontario
Return

Measures to Protect Against COVID-19 at Seasons

January 14, 2022

COVID-19-Blog

The health and well-being of our team members, residents and their families remain our greatest priorities. Seasons Retirement Communities has taken many health and safety measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid the spread of the virus, and we continue to follow the advice of provincial and federal governments, our sector regulators, and local Public Health agencies.  Given the continued prevalence of COVID-19, along with new, more contagious variants, there is an ongoing risk to our communities. We must remain vigilant and take all precautions to protect each other for the duration of the pandemic.

Please note that as the COVID-19 situation evolves, we may need to adjust our policies. We will continue to advise residents and families of these changes as quickly as possible.  

Current Precautionary Protocols:

Vaccination rates among Seasons residents are very high, and some local public health units have begun administering booster shots. Seasons has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all team members, contractors, volunteers and students.  All external care providers and essential visitors must comply with Provincial Government Directives and Orders regarding vaccination, which may include but is not limited to proof of vaccination, health screening and rapid antigen testing.  

The Corporate Infection Control Committee (CICC) plans for every stage of a potential outbreak and provides regular communication to all stakeholders. In some instances, we do not just meet provincial public health and safety requirements for senior living; we exceed them to benefit our team members, residents and families. In all decisions, the group considers protective measures while balancing residents’ physical and mental well-being. 

Active screening for all staff, essential visitors, and vendor partners who enter Seasons, including completing health screening checklists. Anyone exhibiting symptoms suggestive of flu or COVID-19 or who has been in contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter. 

In Ontario, as per Directive #3, all visitors must show proof of vaccination before entering a Seasons Retirement Community. See below for details.

Resident health and wellness. Ongoing observation of residents for typical and atypical symptoms of COVID-19 or any other changes.

Physical distancing and cohorts. Tables have been spaced out to accommodate physical distancing. In addition, dining sittings have been adjusted to ensure residents from the same floor or area in our homes eat simultaneously to cohort groups for contact tracing purposes. Seasons has adapted group activities in a way that respects physical distancing while encouraging safe social gatherings. 

Enhanced cleaning routines continue, including infection control protocols for increased cleaning of high touch point areas. Hand sanitizer in key amenity areas and additional information is shared with staff and residents on how to help prevent the spread of the virus personally.

Team member commitment.  Team members are hand washing frequently, participating in surveillance testing, universal masking and maintaining a physical distance.

Use of masks and PPE. In an outbreak situation, masks and PPE are required per our public health’s infection control policy and directives. Residents are requested to wear masks indoors whenever they leave their suites. All visitors must wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth, for the entire duration of their visit. 

Heightened safety protocols are implemented in a home with an outbreak or suspected outbreak status.  Symptomatic residents or those at risk for exposure are isolated with droplet/contact precautions.  Personal protective equipment (PPE) for team members and essential caregivers, including a mask, gown, gloves, and eye protection, is implemented to support affected residents.

Ontario

A reminder that the retirement home sector must follow the provincial government’s direction, Chief Medical Officer of Health, our sector regulator, and local Public Health agencies. The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) and The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) have provided a resource, Retirement Homes Policy to Implement Directive #3, which outlines rules for visitation, absences and gatherings.

Visitors.  All visits must be scheduled in advance.  This guarantees the safeguard testing requirements while ensuring physical distancing and equity regarding access and care needs.  Visits will be limited to 2 guests per resident at a time.

Vaccination for Visitors.  All visitors must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination before entry into a Seasons Retirement Residence in Ontario.  Fully vaccinated means 14 days post the 2nd dose.  Our Visitor Management System in Cubigo can note vaccination status, so the proof will only be required once.  Please speak to the General Manager if you have a valid medical exception.

We are committed to working in partnership with those visitors who are not vaccinated as best as possible.

Rapid Testing.  All visitors, team members, students, volunteers and contractors, regardless of vaccination status, must participate in rapid testing before entering a Seasons Retirement Residence. Where supplies are available, testing will take place before each and every entry; otherwise, testing will be required a minimum of 2 times per week.

Please note that visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days will not be required to participate in rapid testing. In this instance, the visitor is asked to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 result in the past 30 days. Once the 30-day period has passed, the individual will be required to complete the regular course of rapid testing.

Alberta

A reminder that the retirement home sector is required to follow the provincial government’s direction, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services and Communicable Disease Control (CDC).

For the most updated information related to Alberta, please visit this link. As per the Alberta government, the following restrictions remain in place:

  • Health Assessment Screening and continuous masking for staff, volunteers and service providers.
  • Visiting persons are required to wear a mask continuously in common areas and be screened upon entry.
  • Twice daily high-touch cleaning requirements in common areas
  • Select quarantine/isolation requirements when needed
  • Outbreak expectations

Visitors.  Whether general visitors or essential visitors, all visitors to our homes must participate in health screening, book a visit in advance, and adhere to our visiting hours. For extenuating circumstances, please speak with the General Manager. At Seasons Retirement Communities, all visitors must wear a medical mask to visit indoors or outdoors.

Rapid Testing.  All visitors, team members, students, volunteers and contractors, regardless of vaccination status, must participate in rapid testing before entering a Seasons Retirement Residence. Where supplies are available, testing will take place before each and every entry; otherwise, testing will be required a minimum of 2 times per week.

Please note that visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days will not be required to participate in rapid testing. In this instance, the visitor is asked to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 result in the past 30 days. Once the 30-day period has passed, the individual will be required to complete the regular course of rapid testing.

Please note that Local Public Health Units (LPHU) or CDC may alter guidelines depending on risk, including the prevalence of the Omicron variant, positivity rates etc., in the greater community.  In these instances, Seasons protocols will align with LPHU and CDC.

Thank you to our team members, residents, and families for the trust you have placed in Seasons Retirement Communities. For additional information, please visit the Company tab of our website.

Discover Life at Seasons. Book a Personal Visit Today.