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As a part of Step 3 of Alberta’s path to return to normal, continuing care Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Orders have been rescinded, including:
- Order 06-2022: Updated Operational and Outbreak Standards
- Order 07-2022: Single-site Staffing Policy
Policies and standards in these settings will continue to direct protective measures to keep residents safe.
Protections in licensed supportive living, long-term care and hospice settings
COVID-19 outbreak prevention and control in continuing care settings is now managed by Alberta Health Services (AHS). AHS will provide policies and support as needed to protect residents in these settings.
Through AHS, the following protections are currently in place to protect staff and residents from COVID-19:
- Use of Masks During COVID-19 Directive remains in place for long-term care, designated supportive living, and hospice staff and visitors.
- Residents and staff continue to be prioritized for PCR testing.
Outbreak procedures must be followed, as outlined in the AHS Outbreak Prevention and Control Guides.
- Outbreak management is directed by Operators and the Zone Medical Officer of Health. In the case of an outbreak, the Zone Medical Officer of Health in the particular Zone has the responsibility to assess an outbreak, and the authority to implement measures at the affected site based on the circumstances of the outbreak.
Alberta provided funding to continuing care home operators for outbreak prevention and control, and increased staffing to help keep residents and staff safe. The initiative was partially funded through the federal Safe Long-term Care Fund.
Ongoing monitoring of COVID-19
- COVID-19 cases and severe outcomes in continuing care settings will continue to be monitored closely by AHS and Alberta Health.
- Public reporting is updated weekly. The frequency of reporting and data elements may be adjusted in the future to align with the stage of pandemic response.
Future pandemic management
- AHS and Alberta Health are planning for management of future potential waves and pandemics.
- Various possible scenarios have been identified, considering potential future variants with varying transmissibility, immune escape and severity.
- Planning for sector-specific responses is ongoing for continued preparedness in continuing care settings.
- Improving the quality of life and overall well-being for seniors in Alberta remains a priority. We recognize there are challenges in the continuing care system which have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed to addressing them.
- Through the recommendations outlined in the Facility-Based Continuing Care Review, we are initiating a multiyear transformation process for the continuing care system.
- Read more about the Continuing Care Transformation.
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