Amica’s measures to protect and vaccinate against COVID-19
The health and well-being of our residents, families and team members are our foremost priorities. We have been taking safety measures since early 2020 to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus. At the forefront of all our decisions is the balance between our residents’ and team members’ safety and their overall physical and mental well-being.
A team of Amica experts in wellness, operations and communications, meets regularly to assess risk, review operations and procurement, and plan for how to best protect our residents and team members from COVID-19 while ensuring residents continue to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Amica’s unwinding plan
The provinces are beginning to change their permissions related to certain restrictions by taking into account high vaccination rates within the retirement home sector. They are extending their parameters in areas such as visitations, social gatherings, outings and communal dining. These changes support our Amica pandemic unwinding plan.
Amica began transitioning towards pandemic unwinding in March 2021 because of our internal environment's low risk level as a result of our high vaccination rates combined with the safety measures and protocols we have in place.
Following public health requirements
Amica leaders are in constant communication with public health authorities to implement the latest safety measures and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), provincial and local health authorities.
We do not just meet provincial public health and safety requirements for senior living operators, we exceed them with our own extra precautions. For example, in wave 1, we proactively implemented essential visitor screening and closed communal spaces in residences before it was required. This was a step we took as an extra precaution to ensure the safety of our residents and team members.
Residents are observed daily for typical and atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or any other changes.
While team members are at home and at the residence, they are practicing frequent hand washing, avoiding touching their face, participating in surveillance testing (where supported by provincial guidelines), universal masking, PPE and hand hygiene education, limiting contact with others and maintaining physical distancing by staying at least 2 m (6 ft.) from another person.
As of this Order 5, visiting restrictions are as follows:
Indoor access for designated family/support person(s):
- Residents may name up to four individuals for this role
- Individuals may be minors
Indoor access to other visitors in extenuating circumstances:
- End of life (last 4-6 weeks, except in the case of hospice)
- Change in health status (due to medical/social/spiritual crisis)
- Pressing circumstances (including financial or legal matters, family crisis, etc.)
Where majority (51%) of responding residents desire, indoor social visits with visitors must be supported
Outdoor social visits of up to 10 persons, space permitting, in suitable spaces must be supported for any resident or family that desire these to happen.
For the most updated information related to Alberta please, visit: Alberta
Roadmap to Reopen
On May 20, 2021, the Ontario government announced its Roadmap to Reopen, which is a three-step plan to reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on provincewide vaccination rates and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. The government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap during the week of June 14, 2021.
The coloured framework provisions will no longer apply once the province moves to the three-step system, however until the three-step system comes into effect, the province remains in Shutdown and existing direction for Grey (Lockdown) or Shutdown applies.
Effective May 22:
- Residents are allowed to leave their homes for the day for social outings, regardless of immunization status.
- A maximum of 2 essential caregivers per resident may visit indoors at a time with physical distancing in place.
- Residents are also permitted to gather outdoors in groups of no more than five people of different households, regardless of immunization status.
- General Visitors may visit a resident outdoors; however, groups must not exceed provincial limits for outdoor gatherings (ie. Currently 5).
- Visitors must wear masks for the duration of the visit (masking for residents is required if tolerated).
- Visitors and residents must maintain physical distancing (2 metres separation) for the duration of the visit.
- Homes should have designated areas for visiting.
- Homes should ensure equitable access for each resident.
- Visits should be booked in advance.
Note: Residents who are self-isolating under Contact and Droplet Precautions may only receive Essential Visitors (e.g., residents may not receive General Visitors or Personal Care Service Providers).
For the most updated information related to Ontario please, visit: Ontario
Indoor visiting is limited to a maximum of 2 (+1 child) at the same time, whereas outdoor visits may be more than two visitors, but no more than what is permitted in the provincial guidelines.
All visitors are to be screened for signs and symptoms of illness at the beginning of every visit.
Up to 10 people can gather outdoors. For example:
- Up to 10 people can gather at a park or beach
- Up to 10 people can gather in the backyard of a residence
For the most updated information related to British Columbia please, visit: British Columbia
Anyone who enters the residence is screened for health, travel and temperature before entering.
Physical distancing for meals and activities
At the onset of the pandemic, all common areas were closed, including dining rooms, bistros, fitness centres, lounges, libraries, theatres, etc.
Most Amica residences have reopened many common areas and resumed adapted group activities in a safe way that respects physical distancing.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to see uplifting stories about how our teams continue to find creative and innovative ways to keep residents engaged.
Infection prevention and control measures
Symptomatic residents, or those at risk for exposure, are isolated with droplet/contact precautions. Personal protective equipment (PPE) including a mask, gown, gloves and eye protection is implemented for those team members supporting affected residents.
Before entering the suite of an isolated resident, team members put on full PPE and discard the PPE after use, immediately upon exiting the room. This protocol allows team members and isolated residents to safely interact with each other, provides a safe living and working environment, and the reassurance that accompanies this level of care and duty, for everyone involved.
In addition to routine cleaning and disinfection, we have introduced enhanced cleaning measures throughout the day, to thoroughly sanitize high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc.