March 17, 2020
During this unprecedented time, we want to take a moment to thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate our way through this global pandemic. We know there is a significant amount of communication coming your way, and we know it can feel overwhelming.
It is of utmost importance to us as an organization that we stay completely transparent with you and provide you with as much information as possible to ensure you have a clear understanding of what Berwick is doing to protect you and your families.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Island Health and Interior Health regions, changes to our existing policies will be occurring. Please take note of our visitation and entry/exit guidelines:
- Only essential visits are permitted. Essential visitors are identified as family members who are tending to an actively palliative or gravely ill resident. Essential visitors also include doctors, employees, health care service providers and contractors as needed. Non-essential visits could jeopardize the health of our entire community so we please ask that you refrain from visiting unless it falls within the definition as classified by the Provincial Health Officer
- Any essential visitors will continue to be actively screened and those who refuse or do not pass will not be permitted within our community.
- Residents are requested to not leave the building other than to walk around the premises
- Any residents returning from hospital will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period
- Our Brio Care Units have officially been closed. A memo to all families regarding policies will be deployed shortly
Here is another reminder of the other measures we have in place to ensure the utmost safety of our residents and employees:
- Implementing social distancing (2 metres distance) in our active living programs
- Limiting activities to groups of no larger than 10
- Sanitizing protocols for all board games and shared items
- Limiting the BAT car to essential services only (such as doctor’s appointments)
- Cancelled all community events and outings
- Cancelled all private dining events, guest meals and guest suite stays
- Staff who are unwell have been notified and requested to refrain from coming to work.
- Any staff who work at other sites in the community that have outbreaks are prohibited from working at our sites during the outbreak as per company policy.
- Berwick is continuing to add additional staff and work hours where needed to help assist in cleaning and disinfecting all high touch point areas
- Berwick has increased the number of hand sanitization & education stations within our communities
- Our Clinical Resource Team is conducting educational in-services and providing around the clock support to our staff to help them provide the best care and services to our residents. This team is also available to answer questions our residents and families may have.
- Promoting good hand hygiene and cough etiquette
- We are maintaining all visitor logs
- Regular surveillance for signs and symptoms in residents
- Use of gloves and masks as appropriate
We understand the impact that this can have on our mental and emotional well-being, and we are working with our Active Living Teams to ensure our Active Living programs are limited in size, but increased in frequency to ensure some continuity. We will also be providing residents with Activity ‘To Go’ Bags complete with a variety of brain games, crosswords and crafts that they can do in their suites. We have also implemented social distancing protocols at meal times and for resident update meetings. We are incredibly grateful to all our residents for their resiliency and support as these changes have been implemented.
These precautions are solely in place to protect our residents and staff and your ongoing support is paramount to assisting us in ensuring the continued well-being of everyone at our Berwick communities.
At any point in time, should you or a loved one start to notice any symptoms, the Government of BC just released an assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else if they are unable to. You can access that assessment here or by clicking on the image below: https://covid19.thrive.health/News & Press