Amica’s measures to protect and vaccinate against COVID-19
Mandatory vaccines for all team members
We are proud that our vaccination rate is 100% for all eligible staff. On August 27, we announced that we would bring in mandatory vaccinations for all Amica team members. This mandate took effect October 12, 2021. Vaccines are critical to protecting our residents and team members from the spread of COVID-19. They are also essential to safeguard the lifestyle and freedoms our residents have come to enjoy.
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 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, universal masking, PPE and hand hygiene education, and maintaining physical distancing by staying at least 2 m (6 ft.) from another person.
The following temporary measures will come into effect on October 25 or earlier if facility operators are ready:
Support from family and friends
- Access to support and companionship from family and friends is essential to resident mental and physical health and wellbeing.
- Visiting family and friends must:
- wear a mask continuously while indoors and in resident rooms (unless a significant communication barrier is present)
- stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild and even if you are fully vaccinated
- Family and friends who are not fully immunized are asked to strongly reconsider their need to attend to the resident onsite, indoors and in-person before entering the site.
- Alternatives to onsite indoor in-person visits include outdoor visits, virtual visits and telephone calls.
- Operators have authority to implement additional site-based policies and processes for COVID-19 prevention (including requiring proof of vaccine or rapid testing) as appropriate to local context and consideration of resident preferences. These measures may be implemented based on consultation with residents and family members and, once implemented, apply to all persons entering the site.
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 entered Step Three of the Roadmap during the week of July 16, 2021.
Effective July 15 :
Any number of Essential Visitors are permitted.
- General Visitors are permitted unless a resident is self-isolating and on Droplet and Contact precautions.
- Precautions, or the home is advised by the local PHU to stop general visits (e.g., during an outbreak).
- General Visitors must pass screening requirements and be reminded to follow applicable public health measures while visiting the home.
- Outdoor visits will be encouraged as much as possible, however depending on residents’ needs, indoor visits, in-suite visits, and/or social absences may be supported.
- General Visitors may be permitted regardless of immunization status, and the residence will not unreasonably deny visits as long as the following policies are followed:
- General Visitors may visit a resident in an indoor or outdoor designated area, including in-suite.
- General Visitors and residents must maintain physical distancing (2 metres separation) for the duration of the visit. This is with the exception of brief physical contact when hugging.
- General Visitors must wear masks for the duration of the visit, unless exempt under the Directive #3 masking requirements (masking for residents is recommended).
- When indoors, General Visitors must wear a medical mask.
- When outdoors, General Visitors must wear a medical or non-medical mask.
- The number of individuals in a group must not exceed provincial limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings, as applicable. Group limits for indoor and outdoor visits do not include children 2 years or under.
- The residence will consider the size of the designated space to allow physical distancing between residents and visitors, and visitors from different households.
- For all visits with General Visitors, the following measures should be in place:
- The residence should ensure equitable access for each resident.
- Visits should be booked in advance.
- Opening windows should be considered for indoor and in-suite visits to allow for air circulation.
For the most updated information related to Ontario please, visit: Ontario
Larger, facility-wide social events or gatherings, adult day programs and in-facility respite are allowed.
- Indoor gatherings may include residents and staff across units of a facility
- Outdoor gatherings may include family and friends
You do not need to schedule an appointment to visit residents in long-term care or seniors' assisted living facilities. There is no limit to the number of visitors for each resident.
All visitors must show proof of full vaccination before visiting a long-term care or seniors' assisted-living facility. The easiest way to show proof of vaccination is using your BC Vaccine Card.
Safety precautions like visitor health screening, hand hygiene and physical distancing will continue.
- Before your visit, review BCCDC information for Visitors in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living (PDF, 661KB)
When to wear a mask at long-term care facilities
- All visitors must wear medical masks in hallways and common areas
- You can only remove your mask when visiting residents in their living area if you're fully vaccinated
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 andLinkedIn 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.