Amica: COVID 19 Response
Oct 08, 2020 11:55 AM
Catherine Russell, GM Amica
Amica: COVID 19 Response
Amica’s measures to protect against COVID-19
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 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. Our COVID-19 Command Taskforce, made up of senior support office team members in wellness, operations and communications, meets daily 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.
Following public health requirements: 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, 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, limiting contact with others and maintaining physical distancing by staying at least 2 m (6 ft.) from another person.
Protective measures for team members: During 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 have adopted 12-hour shifts to reduce the number of people coming and going from our residences each day. To limit interactions, we’re using cohorting where possible: each team member is working with a specific group of residents. Every Amica team member wears a mask for the duration of their shift, as part of Amica’s universal masking campaign. Team members with symptoms, or those that may have had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, stay home for a minimum of 14 days’ self-isolation with pay.
Visitor restrictions: Alberta: We know this is difficult for residents and families, but visitor restrictions are in place in Alberta at the time of writing (July 2, 2020). In the interest of everyone’s safety, we make just three exceptions for:
Essential visitors: family members with loved ones at end-of-life;  Approved external care providers: health care aides/PSWs who have agreed to restrict their activities to one Amica residence only; and  Essential visiting health care professionals.