COVID-19 Update April 8th, 2021

Memo to: People we Support, Families, Guardians and Skills Society Employees

Re: Prevention and Preparedness Regarding the Novel-Corona Virus (COVID-19)

From: Senior Leadership of Skills Society

April 8, 2021

COVID-19 Cases in Alberta and at Skills Society

Image of Dr. Deena Hinshaw with a quote that reads, the challenge now is to dig in and bend down the curve one last time. If we can stop this sharp increase we are seeing and break the chains of transmission... as well as continue to get vaccinated when eligible, then we will save lives and get back to normal as quickly as possible.As of April 7th, Alberta has 11,464 active cases (2,640 in the Edmonton zone), and 1,351 new cases (575 variant cases) in Alberta were identified on April 6th. On March 19th, the date of our previous public memo, Alberta had 5,084 active cases (91 variant cases). In three weeks active case numbers have over doubled and variant cases account for 43.2% of active cases.

Teams are working around the clock with individuals. families and Guardians to book the people we support, eligible within Phase 2B, for COVID-19 immunization. This is complex work and we want to remind everyone we support, families, Guardians, and employees, if you or your loved one are eligible we strongly encourage you to book an appointment. Ensure doctors are consulted where appropriate and whether physicians recommend a person served by Skills Society receive a vaccine. See below for more information on the Alberta vaccine rollout and how to book. We are hearing that eligible Albertans can potentially receive their vaccine quickly by calling pharmacies and being added to their backup lists for cancelled or missed appointments. Please continue to try to get eligible people the soonest appointment through 811, or a pharmacy. 

In our Skills Society Community, to date and since the beginning of the pandemic 37 individuals we serve and 42 employees have tested positive with COVID-19. 

Moving back to Step 1 of COVID-19 Restrictions

On April 6th, 2021 the Government of Alberta announced that Alberta will be returning to Step 1 of the path forward, and re-introduced stronger public health measures to protect the health system and slow the spread of COVID-19 infections and variants of concern. We continue to be reminded that these next few months are critical. Until everyone can be immunized, all Albertans need to remain vigilant and follow all COVID-19 safety precautions and public health guidance to bend down the curve. 

“I am extremely concerned by the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Alberta. All Albertans must take these additional measures very seriously; this virus is highly contagious. Only by working together can we protect each other, reduce spread and protect our health system” 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

As we have done throughout the pandemic, Skills Society continues to take a cautious and balanced approach – safeguarding the people we support and employees as best possible and taking into account individual, roommate and guardian wishes. As with the provincial mandatory public health restrictions, our temporary COVID-19 measures regarding supporting non-essential outings are continuously reviewed. These temporary COVID-19 measures were re-evaluated at the end of March and due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Alberta, especially variants of concern, they will continue to remain in place until further notice (please see the January 11th memo to everyone for additional details). These temporary measures are in place to help protect staffing models and further reduce potential transmission of COVID-19. 

Image of text. Moving back into Step 1 of COVID-19 restrictions.Image of text. Effective April 6. Retail and places of worship: 15% of fire code capacity. Indoor fitness: 1-on-1 or household with a trainer. High intensity and group fitness not allowed. Adult performance activities: dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument, and any rehearsal or theatrical performances are not permitted.Image of text. Effective April 9, Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes: indoor dining not allowed, outdoor dining and take out allowed. Unchanged since April 6: places of worship, social gatherings, personal and wellness services, indoor and outdoor children's sport and performance.

Rules for Fully Vaccinated People

Many of the people we support, employees, family, and friends have received or are booked to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is great news! We hope that soon everyone will have the opportunity to receive their first dose of the vaccine. A reminder that at this time people who are vaccinated are still required to follow all public health measures. Alberta Health authorities have shared the following on what is known at present around vaccine protection. 

“Until most Albertans are protected, fully vaccinated people must continue following all public health measures: no indoor social gatherings, keep 2 metres apart from others, wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and stay home when sick.

Once both doses take effect, you are less likely to become severely sick with COVID-19. But we don’t yet know if the vaccine prevents vaccinated people from spreading the virus.

We must continue reviewing emerging evidence on asymptomatic and variant transmission before we can safely alter public health guidelines.

We will let Albertans know when rules for fully vaccinated people can be changed.”

Alberta Government website, Rules for fully vaccinated people

It is imperative that everyone remain vigilant in their actions to protect themselves and others around them. 

COVID-19 Vaccine rollout to Phase 2B has been expanded

Bookings are now open to everyone eligible within Phase 2B. Albertans born in 2005 or earlier with eligible underlying health conditions are eligible to book.

There are 3 ways to book a vaccination appointment: 

For more information and to view the list of eligible high-risk underlying health conditions in Phase 2B visit the Alberta Government website by clicking here

We encourage people we support and employees who are eligible to book an appointment. Please, do not wait to receive notification from Skills Society to book an appointment. We’re asking Team Leaders and Managers to keep an eye on eligibility and timelines, and work with individuals, families and Guardians to book. *Ensure doctors are consulted where appropriate and whether physicians recommend a person served by Skills Society receive a vaccine.

What to bring with you to your appointment

  • One piece of identification that proves your age, which could include your Alberta Health Care card, a driver’s license, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, or passport;
  • For individuals who have an alternate decision-maker, the signed AHS COVID-19 Immunization Consent form. Team Leaders can help you access this through MyCompass;
  • Any additional items you are asked by Health to bring when you book.

Sign up to get notified when it’s your turn to be vaccinated

Sign up to receive email updates when each group of Alberta’s phased COVID-19 vaccination program is announced here

For more information on Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine program visit alberta.ca/covid-19-vaccine.

 

Sincerely,

Senior Leadership Team of Skills Society

 

For More Information

  • If you are a family or guardian and require additional information please be in touch with the manager associated with your loved one’s support. 
  • If you are a Skills Employee and require additional information you can be in touch with your supervisor or Pandemic Coordinators, Linda or Ed at 780-496-9686.

Previous Public Memos

Public Memos are available on our website under the ‘news’ tab.

March 3rd COVID-19 Update →

March 12th COVID-19 Update →

March 16th COVID-19 Update →

March 20th COVID-19 Update →

March 27th COVID-19 Update →

April 3rd COVID-19 Update →

April 9th COVID-19 Update →

April 13th COVID-19 Update →

April 17th COVID-19 Update →

May 1st COVID-19 Update→

May 15th COVID-19 Update →

June 5th COVID-19 Update –>

June 12th COVID 19 Update →

June 23rd COVID-19 Update → 

July 24th COVID-19 Update → 

August 11th COVID-19 Update →

August 18th Board of Directors COVID-19 Update →

August 21st Sharing Further Health Recommendations on Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 →

September 2nd A Message from Skills Society’s Pandemic Coordinator →

September 11th Ways That We Can All Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 →

September 18th  COVID-19 Update → 

October 2nd COVID-19 Update → 

October 30th COVID-19 Update → 

November 10th Very Important Recommendations Regarding COVID-19 Prevention and Preparedness → 

November 16th Very Important Message Regarding Prevention and Preparedness for COVID-19 Increasing Cases → 

November 25th Very Important Message Regarding Prevention and Preparedness for COVID-19 – New Mandatory Public Health Measures → 

December 10th Very Important Message Regarding Prevention and Preparedness for COVID-19 – New Mandatory Public Health Measures → 

December 22nd Stay Safe and Best Wishes for the Holidays → 

January 5th Happy New Year and Important Message → 

January 20th COVID-19 Update → 

February 26th COVID-19 Update → 

March 19th COVID-19 Update → 

Note: What’s happening with COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We become aware of new information from the provincial and federal governments and health authorities on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. We are working hard to be responsive to this new information as it becomes available. As such, information in this memo may change and quickly become outdated. We are doing our best to communicate new information to the people we support, families, guardians, and staff in a timely manner.