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COVID-19 Update Dec 16, 2021: New Ontario Government Regulations

December 16, 2021

COVID-19-Blog

Hello everyone,

Here we are, facing our second Christmas, almost 20 months since the start of the pandemic.  Like you, I was hoping that come holiday time, COVID-19 would be well under control thanks to our residents, families and team members’ support of vaccination and IPAC protocols.  While there is much to be hopeful about, today, we are focusing on continued vigilance and controlling the spread, especially among our most vulnerable.  The Omicron variant is highly contagious, and government modelling is driving new restrictions for our sector.  As a result, I need to update you on the Ontario government’s new regulations effective Monday, December 20, 2021.

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.

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.  Testing will be required a minimum of 2 x per week.

Visitor Management System

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.

Overnight Absences

Regardless of vaccination status, residents who choose to leave the home overnight will be required to have a PCR test upon return and isolate until results are received.

Activities

Small group activities continue to be supported, while large group activities are not encouraged.

Masking

A reminder that visitors MUST continuously mask throughout their visit.  Please do not remove your mask behind closed doors.  Residents are strongly encouraged to wear their masks when outside of their suite.

While you as an individual have the right to self-assess for risk, Seasons must consider the greater threat to our retirement communities, including staff and residents.   We need everyone to help us keep COVID-19 out of our homes so that all who live and work with us remain healthy as we enter 2022.

Ontario vaccine mobilization for booster shots is in full swing after the announcement of changes in who is eligible.  We strongly encourage everyone to make an appointment for a booster shot.

While the holidays are yet again guaranteed to be different, our team members will work hard to surprise and delight residents with extra care and thoughtful gestures.  From physically distant, small group activities to door-to-door treats and fun, we want families to rest assured that their loved ones are not alone at Seasons.

For those who are asking, we encourage residents to use our “Holiday Grams” to send words of gratitude and encouragement to team members in place of gifts.  I am always moved by our residents’ feedback, as their comments reflect our teams’ ability to deliver on our company vision to connect in meaningful ways.  Our Fun teams will create beautiful holiday displays out of the Holiday Grams for all to see.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Holiday Food Drive.  We were able to make significant donations of non-perishable goods to your local food banks at a time when donations are needed most.

On behalf of the Seasons Executive Team, I want to thank all of you for your trust in our company. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us many challenges.  Directives from our provincial governments, sector regulators and public health units have changed frequently, and we have had to evolve our daily operations to accommodate them quickly.  We have remained steadfast in our infection prevention and control protocols and have seen solid results from these efforts.

Our team members have worked tirelessly through nearly two years of heightened precautionary measures. We are grateful for the sacrifices you have made in your household to keep your coworkers and residents safe. Thank you for your commitment, vigilance and grace under pressure.

Thank you to our residents and families for your patience and cooperation.  We know this has been a challenging year with much uncertainty.  We appreciate your faith in our commitment to resident health and safety and the kind words and gestures you’ve bestowed upon our teams.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and good health in 2022.

Sincerely,

LeighAnne Voll
Chief Operating Officer,
Seasons Retirement Communities

For additional online resources for COVID-19 you can visit the following sites:

Canada Health
Alberta Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Ontario
Retirement Home Regulatory Authority

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