March 18, 2020
A message to all of our residents and families,
On March 17th, the Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency amid the significant and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the Island Health and Interior Health regions.
In her announcement, she ordered that any restaurants, bars and cafes not able to facilitate social distancing be closed and transition to take-out or delivery service to further prevent the spread of this pandemic. We have made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily close our dining services and implement room service effective noon today, March 18th, 2020. This was a difficult decision, but made without hesitation as the safety and well-being of our residents and staff is paramount.
Please be assured you will still receive full meals with multiple options and twice daily coffee and snacks, but for the time being they will be hand-delivered to your room during regular meal times.
We know that this is going to be an incredibly challenging time. However, we believe you appreciate that we cannot take any unnecessary risks and out of obligation to you, our staff and our civic duties to act responsibly we must do everything to help prevent the further spread of this virus within our broader communities.
Please understand that any policies, decisions and changes Berwick has put into place have been intentionally above and beyond the guidelines and direction as provided from the BCCDC, our local health authorities, Dr. Bonnie Henry and our Minister of Health Adrian Dix. These are very difficult decisions, but made with the intentions and hope that this will only benefit us in the near term as it relates to the health and safety of those in our communities.
As you are aware Berwick is closed to visitors and only essential visitors delivering medical assistance are admitted entrance after they have passed our pre-screening protocol. We are asking for your help and cooperation in letting your families know that we are closed and to please find alternative means to stay connected. Any non-essential visits could jeopardize our entire community.
It is important to note that our provincial health officers are strongly discouraging seniors from being out in the community at this time.
At Berwick we are working vigilantly day and night to ensure we are going above and beyond standard infection control measures to keep our sites as clean and sanitized as possible. We cannot confidently say the same for the environment outside of our doors. Should it be essential that you must leave the building, please note that effective immediately you will be asked to comply with our pre-screening protocols and sanitized prior to reentering the building.
To reiterate our most up to date policies and procedures:
- Berwick is closed to visitors
- Essential medical visitors must be buzzed in to allow for pre-screening and ensure they sanitize their hands
- Only disposables will be used for room service
- Brio is closed to all visitors including Berwick residents
- All delivery carts will be sanitized between meals
- Tablets will be made available to facilitate virtual visits with families
COVID-19 is the most challenging crisis we have faced together and we need your support and mutual compliance now more than ever. Given the sizeable increase in community cases from yesterday’s press conference, drastic steps must be taken out of necessity to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The speed of our actions need to supersede the perfection of our decisions.
We cannot stress enough our heartfelt gratitude for your patience, understanding and tremendous effort during these unprecedented times. This situation is changing daily, and we are going to keep adjusting to it. Just remember, this is not permanent. This is a temporary approach out of an abundance of caution for your health and safety.