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Newest COVID guidelines bring careful easing of visiting restrictions

July 28th, 2020

Points West Living communities are seeing a careful easing of COVID-19 visiting restrictions with the July 23rd release of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) for Alberta’s latest Order 29-2020. The updated order allows supportive living homes to offer expanded outdoor visits, the possibility of indoor visits, and pet visits. Many of the previous precautions remain in place, such as pre-arranging all visits, wearing masks, and physical distancing.

Remain vigilant while reconnecting

With COVID numbers on the rise, it is essential for everyone to remain vigilant when re-engaging in visiting. Each Points West Living community is working to create its own community-specific Safe Visiting Plan. That plan includes the responsibility and authority to diligently monitor for any risk factors and ensure the safety of residents, employee care partners and visitors.

3-Phase rollout

Points West Living is rolling out the changes in three stages, which will be implemented as each community is able to do so. Residents and families will be notified when each phase comes into effect:

Phase 1 (currently in effect, as determined by the Safe Visiting Plan specific to your community):

  • Outdoor visits for up to four visitors (must be pre-arranged)
  • One animal is permitted to join an approved visit
  • Gifts may be brought into the community and properly disinfected once inside the community
  • End of life visits may be approved for visitors other than designated support persons

Phase 2 (as determined by the Safe Visiting Plan specific to your community):

  • Designated indoor visits by up to two designated visitors in assigned indoor spaces
  • Physical touch

Phase 3 (as determined by the Safe Visiting Plan specific to your community):

  • Social visits
Mental and physical health of residents

One of the overriding reasons given for easing visiting restrictions in supportive living homes is the mental and physical health of residents. With that in mind, the CMOH order states that, “It is imperative that all persons entering these settings 1) Understand the risk of exposure to COVID-19 (for self and others); 2) Follow all related site policies and public health measures in place; and 3) Remain vigilant in protecting themselves and others both while on site as well as off site.”

For the many more details included in the CMOH order, read the full text of CMOH Order 29-2020

Photo: Points West Living poster showing how PWL communities will ease into new Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta's Order 29-2020 changes in visiting restrictions.

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