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Amica’s measures to protect against COVID-19

Since protecting the health and well-being of our residents, families and team members is our foremost priority, we have been taking safety measures since early 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

 

Following public health requirements

  • Amica leaders are in constant communication with public health authorities to implement the latest safety measures and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and local health authorities.
  • We don’t just meet provincial public health and safety requirements for senior living operators, we exceed them with our own extra measures. For example, we proactively implemented essential visitor screening and closed communal spaces in residences before it was required to provide an extra measure of safety for our residents and team members.
  • Residents are observed daily for symptoms of flu and any other changes.
  • We report and stay in close communication with local health authorities implementing their directives.
  • At home and at the residence, team members are practicing frequent hand-washing, no face-touching, limiting contact with others and staying apart by at least 2 m (6 ft.).

 

Protective measures for staff

  • In the last week of March, we fully enacted dedicated staffing at all Amica residences. This means we prohibited staff-sharing with other residences and care homes. Our team members committed to work at one Amica residence only, and no other facilities.
  • Where appropriate, we’ve adopted 12-hour shifts to reduce the number of people coming and going from residences each day.
  • To limit interactions, we’re using cohorting where possible: each team member is working with a limited, specific group of residents.
  • At home and at the residence, team members are practicing frequent hand-washing, no face-touching, limiting contact with others and staying apart by at least 2 m (6 ft.).
  • Every Amica team member wears a mask throughout their entire shift, even for interactions with asymptomatic residents.
  • Team members with symptoms, or those that may have had contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home for a minimum of 14 days with pay.

 

External visitors temporarily prohibited

We know this is difficult for residents and families, but in the interest of everyone’s safety, we make just two exceptions for:

  • Essential visitors: family members with loved ones at end-of-life; and
  • Approved external care providers: practitioners who have agreed to restrict their activities to one Amica residence only.

 

Strict screening and enhanced cleaning

  • All team members, essential visitors and approved external care providers are screened for health, travel and temperature before entering.
  • In addition to routine cleaning and disinfection, we've introduced additional cleaning measures throughout the day to thoroughly sanitize high-contact surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc.

 

Physical distancing for meals and activities

  • All common areas have been closed, including dining rooms, bistros, fitness centres, lounges, libraries, theatres, etc.
  • Daily meals are being delivered to the residents in their suites.
  • Life enrichment activities have been adapted: Instead of group activities, all recreation has moved to in-suite, online and individualized programs.
  • Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIN to see uplifting stories about how our teams continue to find creative and innovative ways to keep residents engaged despite challenging circumstances.
  • To bring Canadians together at a time when seniors are at high risk of feeling isolated, we’ve launched #smilesforseniors, an inspiring social campaign to brighten everyone’s day. We invite you to join the movement and learn more at www.smilesforseniors.ca.

 

Strict safety in case of outbreak

  • Symptomatic residents, or those at risk for exposure, are isolated with full personal protective equipment (PPE) in place for team members supporting affected residents. Team members are provided with gloves, a surgical procedure mask, a gown and eye protection.
  • Before entering the suite of an isolated resident, team members put on full PPE and discard the PPE after one 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, to everyone involved.