COVID-19 Update Mar 18, 2020: Essential Visitors Mandate

March 18, 2020


I want to reassure everyone that Seasons takes the health and well-being of our residents and team members very seriously.

Directives to the seniors housing sector are changing quickly, and Seasons is following the advice of provincial and federal governments, our sector regulators and local Public Health agencies. We are also staying up to date on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

At the outset of the COVID-19 situation in Canada, Seasons Retirement Communities implemented heightened precautionary protocols in all of our homes. The protective measures we are taking include:

  • Creation of a Corporate Infection Control Committee (CICC) to plan for every stage of a potential outbreak and to provide regular communication to all stakeholders

  • Enforcing Essential Visitor* protocol

  • Active screening for all staff, essential visitors and vendor partners who enter Seasons communities, including limiting entry points to our home and requiring the completion of health screening checklists and declaring recent travel information. Anyone who is 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 our community

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

  • Limiting activities to small groups, pausing all group outings and encouraging residents to postpone all non-essential appointments outside of our homes

On Saturday March 14, the Ontario Ministry of Health required that retirement communities limit access to essential visitors only, until further notice. On Sunday March 15, Alberta Health implemented the same protocol.

*Essential Visitors are defined as those with loved ones who are critically ill. Please note that emergency responders and External Care Providers (ECPs) are also considered essential visitors.

While we believe these restrictions are crucial to protecting our staff and residents, we know these measures can be hard on residents and families. I ask that you please be patient with our teams and continue to treat them with kindness. Our retirement communities are home to those for whom exposure to COVID-19 could be extremely dangerous so your cooperation with our precautionary protocols are essential.

Please rest assured that our Service Team Leaders and front line staff are working diligently to keep our residents safe, engaged and having fun, despite the seriousness of this situation. Please see our blog article on ways to stay connected to elderly loved ones during this time.

The Seasons CICC will continue to update staff, residents and families regularly. We remain vigilant in our infection control policies and procedures and we believe we are well prepared in the event that this issue escalates. All decisions are being made with our staff and residents’ health and safety in mind.

Thank you for the trust you have placed in Seasons Retirement Communities.


LeighAnne Voll,
Chief Operating Officer

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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