Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) and Outbreak Management
Important Information for Residents, Families and Visitors
While we are currently focused on enhanced health and safety measures, we continue to be guided by our core value ‘People First.’ People are always at the centre of everything we do!Our residents are at higher risk of serious illness from exposure to COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses. As seniors living in continuing care communities are a population that is at higher risk, BSF is taking all reasonable, necessary and proactive Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures to prevent the occurrence or spread of COVID-19 within our sites. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time, for the health and safety of all those who live, work and visit our sites.
Please check this page frequently for new updates and information.
On February 9, 2022, the Government of Alberta announced that public health measures in the community will be lifted in 3 stages as the Omicron wave subsides and pressure on the health-care system eases. Alberta entered into Step 1 on February 9, 2022 and Step 2 on March 1, 2022. All remaining mandatory public health restrictions were lifted on June 14, 2022.
All Chief Medical Officer of Health orders specific to continuing care were lifted on June 30, 2022. Alberta Health Services incorporated infection prevention and control guidance and requirements into its standard operating policies and procedures as we shift to a more routine approach to disease management.
Use of Masks During COVID-19
- Effective at 8:00 a.m. on June 19, 2023, Alberta Health Services (AHS) have rescinded the ‘Use of Masks During COVID-19’ Directive.
- As a result, AHS will no longer require continuous masking at all AHS facilities, including continuing care and contracted sites. This applies to The Brenda Strafford Foundation (BSF) for all families, visitors, and staff (including contractors, students, and volunteers).
- AHS and BSF respects the choice to voluntarily wear a mask and encourages those who wish to wear a mask to continue to wear one. BSF will continue to provide surgical masks until further notice, and anyone that voluntarily wears a mask is recommended to wear a surgical mask provided within BSF sites.
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be supplied when it is required as part of isolation, outbreak, or routine infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and surgical or N95 masks must be worn under these circumstances.
- Residents and families are encouraged to have conversations with their care providers regarding this change to the continuous masking requirements, or other factors they feel are important to their care.
- Staff are encouraged to have conversations with their direct supervisor, Director of Care, or Executive Director at their site if they have any concerns.
Reminders of important routine practices related to use of masks that remain in effect:
- Staff are required to continue to use routine practices and additional precautions as required by the IPC Risk Assessment to make PPE decisions and to prevent the spread of infections. Appropriate PPE will continue to be available in all settings.
- Continuous masking will be required under certain circumstances including: when directed by an outbreak protocol; IPC Risk Assessment indicates it as a control; or as identified by the AHS ‘Attending Work with COVID-19 Symptoms or a Positive COVID19 Test’ Directive.
Healthcare workers that receive a positive rapid test result for COVID-19:
- Are restricted from attending work for a minimum of 5 days from symptom onset, OR until symptoms are improving and they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, whichever is longer.
- When the healthcare worker returns to work, they must wear a mask at all times in indoor settings at work for a total of 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
Self-Screening Reminder for all Staff and Visitors
Please do not enter the site if you:
- Have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other respiratory or GI illness
- Have a positive test result for COVID-19
- Are awaiting the results for a COVID-19 test
Isolation is recommended.
If you feel unwell you should stay home regardless of whether you have tested positive for COVID-19 or not. Anyone who is feeling unwell, regardless of whether they have tested positive for a respiratory virus or not, are advised to avoid visiting acute care or continuing care settings.
Thank you for continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all illnesses within our sites.
COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy Update
- As of October 31, 2022, BSF no longer requires all staff to be fully immunized for COVID-19.
- Although it is no longer a mandatory condition of employment, BSF continues to strongly encourage all staff to be fully immunized for COVID-19, and to remain up to date with booster doses of the vaccine as they become eligible in accordance with current public health recommendations and eligibility requirements (refer to AHS Vaccine Eligibility).
COVID-19 Current Outbreak Disclosure
As of October, 2023, BSF will no longer be publishing the on/off outbreak status of sites on our website.
We will continue to:
- Post outbreak signage at the entrance if the site is on outbreak (the reception team will have all current outbreak information and will be happy to answer your questions on entry to the site).
- Contact the relevant family/emergency contact regarding any changes to an individual resident’s health status including symptoms of illness, test results, and applicable quarantine or isolation protocols for COVID-19, Influenza, or any illness.
- Notify our email contact lists for any exceptional circumstances as deemed necessary by site leadership including heightened risk and/or additional restrictions guided by AHS outbreak management.
Statements from The Brenda Strafford Foundation
For all media inquiries or interview requests with the President and CEO, please contact:
Manager, Communications and Marketing
The Brenda Strafford Foundation
Office: 403.536.8682 | julie.arnold@theBSF.ca
Subscribe to our Mailing List
Residents, Families, Loved Ones and Visitors to our Manors are invited to subscribe to our Resident and Family Email Contact List to stay up to date on changes and news related to the COVID-19 situation and precautions at The Brenda Strafford Foundation, as well as other site-specific and Foundation news.
Go to the "Contact > Subscribe" page: